News: 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign begins May 25
Story by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Norman
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – With summer fast approaching, soon it will be time to uncover boats, dust off motorcycles, put on swim shorts and engage in all sorts of outdoor activities.
Summertime can be a great time for fun, but with an increase in activities comes a greater chance for accidents to happen. The days of summer with the greatest chance of accidents are known to Air Force members as the 101 critical days of summer.
This year the Air Force has designated May 25 - Sept. 4 as the Air Force Safety Center's Critical Days of Summer safety campaign. The Air Force's vision this year is to ensure all of our Airmen have zero preventable fatal mishaps and an injury-free summer.
“[The 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign] is important for Altus because now’s the time when the weather is warmer and people are out doing the activities that they put on hold during the winter months,” said Master Sgt. Jason M. Greco, 97th Air Mobility Wing ground safety superintendent. “People are out on their motorcycles a lot more; there are a lot of summertime sports out at the lake, and things people haven’t done for a long time so their skills are rusty.”
According to the AF Safety Center, "The objective of the Air Force Critical Days of Summer Campaign 2012 is to call attention to the tragic loss and or injury of Airmen during summertime and to make them realize that safety is personal for their families, friends, coworkers and themselves. Counting back to Oct. 1, 2002, the Air Force has experienced 218 fatalities during the Critical Days of Summer (201 off-duty and 17 on duty). The Air Force's vision is to ensure all of our Airmen have zero preventable mishaps and an injury-free summer".
Altus AFB is not immune to summertime mishaps.
According to the 97th AMW Safety Office, the base has not had any fatalities during the 101 critical days of summer campaign, but has had 508 mishaps since 2005, 110 of which involved personal motor vehicles or sports and recreation activities.
Airmen can take precautions to help prevent mishaps.
The best thing Airmen can do is to use personal risk management and look at every activity they are doing, Greco said. If they break down their activities step-by-step, and identify potential hazards, they need to do whatever they can to reduce those hazards. Airmen also need to let their leadership know what activities they are participating in as well, so that supervisors can help give the proper guidance. People may not always make the right decisions for themselves, a lot of things they do are on a whim, so talking to leadership can help them make the right choices.
During these 101 critical days of summer, supervisors are especially encouraged to get involved with their employees.
“One thing I want to stress is that supervisors should be engaging with their personnel and getting involved in what their Airmen are doing in their extra-curricular time to help point them in the right direction and make sure that they are making the right decisions to keep themselves as safe as possible,” Greco said.
If base members adhere to the proper safety precautions, there is no reason that this can’t be a great and safe 101 critical days of summer.