News: Party season begins “SAFE-n-SOUND”
Story by Senior Airman Katrina Brisbin
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – The Air Force Safety Center’s Holiday and Winter Safety Campaign was developed to make sure information and seasonal safety tips are made available to the Air Force community. This year, the campaign theme is “SAFE-n-SOUND, All Year Round” focusing on seven modules with three optional modules. With the information provided in this campaign plan, supervisors have more resources at their fingertips for their safety briefings as the Air Force community continues to move forward in the “Quest for Zero” mishaps. The holiday season campaign will be from Nov. 16, 2012, through Jan. 2, 2013.
Each week, the 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs office will highlight one module from this safety campaign.
Module four, Dec. 4 to 7, 2012, is titled “Party Season Begins.”
The holiday season is here, and for many this means attending parties. The goal is to keep the celebrations safe and fun. Of the six fatal mishaps during last year’s holiday season, two involved alcohol and one caused the death of two Airmen.
“Across the Air Force, we work very hard throughout the year to reduce mishaps,” said Michael Donley, Secretary of the Air Force. “Please pay special attention to your surroundings, the weather and especially your celebration game plan during this holiday season.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,885 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2010. Thirty-one percent of those fatalities involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
Some ways to avoid dangerous binge alcohol use and impaired driving from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are listed below.
- Avoid making alcohol the main focus of social events.
- Offer plenty of non-alcoholic choices such as sparkling water, juice, soda and drinking water.
- Stop serving drinks at least 1 hour before the end of the event. Instead, serve coffee, non-alcoholic beverages and desserts at that time.
- Try and avoid salty foods, which are known to encourage people to drink more. Serve high protein and carbohydrate foods, such as cheese and meats, which can help to slow the effects of alcohol.
- Have designated drivers available ahead of time. Be prepared to offer or use other transportation such as cabs or “safe ride” programs.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to stop a friend or loved one from getting behind the wheel.
If safe party plans fall though, McConnell’s Airmen Against Drunk Driving program is available.
AADD is an Airman-run organization that assists McConnell military members, dependants and civilian employees who have been drinking, or are with others who have been drinking, to get home safely. The AADD hotline is staffed Friday through Sunday nights, as well as during holidays, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
They are also available at many McConnell wing and squadron events where alcohol is served.
“We plan to have two or three AADD members at each event this holiday season,” said Airman 1st Class Robert Anthony, AADD vice president. “That way if someone’s plan falls through, we’re there.”
In a letter to Airmen written at the start of the campaign, signed by Donley, General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Chief Master Sgt. James Roy, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, leadership urged Airmen to be vigilant when it came to their safety and that of those around them.
"All Airmen, uniformed and civilian, have a responsibility to ensure a safe holiday for themselves, their fellow Airmen, their wingmen and their families by being alert to safety risks on-and-off-duty," the letter reads. "We urge you to use common sense and keep your focus on risk management as we strive to enjoy a mishap-free season."
Whether hosting or attending a holiday party, keep these tricks in mind and always have a plan.