News: Rodeo riders at Expo shine light on motorcycle safety
Story by Staff Sgt. Teresa Adams
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - As part of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community, soldiers, airmen, family members and civilians may ride motorcycles, hike beautiful trails, water and snow ski, and participate in countless other outdoor activities.
The JBLM garrison command intends to ensure that its community is safe while engaged in these activities.
JBLM Garrison sponsored its first joint Army and Air Force Safety Expo May 26, featuring a motor cycle rodeo and impaired driving simulator.
Safety experts provided education on seat belt use, heat injury prevention, summer sports, and recreation safety during the expo.
The Safety Expo was the culminating event of the first JBLM Safety Focus Week which took place from May 20 - 26.
Sgt. Page Ford, an operating room technician with the 47th Combat Support Hospital here, perused the safety displays and finally made it to her ultimate destination. Her primary reason for attending this event was to attend the motorcycle rodeo to ensure that she was armed with information about motorcycle safety.
Ford seeks this information for two reasons. She is thinking about buying a motorcycle and she wants to mentor her soldiers that ride.
“The best thing I took away from here was the information about the courses I need to take to be a safe rider,” Ford said. “This information will help me to assist my soldiers in staying safe. You wouldn’t drive a car without a driver’s license and you shouldn’t ride a motorcycle without knowing what you are up against.”
Sgt. 1st Class Greg M. Hilchey, an operations non-commissioned officer with the 301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and safety instructor at Puget Sound Safety, Puyallup, worked as a mentor at the motorcycle rodeo.
“This gives the riders an idea of what their skill level is,” Hilchey said. “We are able to give them feedback and suggest the safety courses they should take. It’s a lot of fun.”
Since Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base have combined, the JBLM Safety Office has worked to ensure that the Safety Expo appeals to both the Army and Air Force.
“The Safety [Expo] is but a small event in the Joint Base Safety Focus Week,” said Thomas J. Walsh, safety specialist with the JBLM Safety Office. “The Safety Expo is designed to get the entire joint base community to think safety.”