News: Safety office earns AETC award
Story by Senior Airman franklin ramos
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – The 97th Air Mobility Wing Safety Office received the Air Education and Training Command Ground Safety Excellence Award for fiscal year 2013 for ensuring the safety of the base.
The award is based on the actions implemented into making a better safety program for the base.
“Our biggest role is mishap prevention,” said Michael Matthews, 97th ground safety manager. “We advise the commanders on their assessments of their safety program. Within the award itself, we have to put in what initiatives we are doing to make a better safety program and our rates look really good this year compared to last.”
The safety office offers several programs to increase the safety in the workplace and at home.
“I’m teaching 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration courses,” Matthews said. “We don’t have to, but we do it. We teach a National Safety Council Defensive Driving course that gets you reduction on your insurance, and Senior Airman Christopher Huffer is a certified child seat inspector.”
Each unit throughout the base has a safety representative who oversees safety programs within his or her unit.
“We also developed a guide for unit safety monitors on what to look for,” Matthews said. “We give them the tools, and they’re trained to make sure we are safe as possible.”
“It’s not just the safety office; none of this works unless you get the cooperation of everybody working as one,” Matthews said. “It’s everybody’s responsibility, and we hope what we are doing is worth it to try and keep people safe.”