FORT RILEY, Kan. - During a safety stand-down day Nov. 7, conducted by the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat team, 1st Infantry Division, the Fort Riley Garrison Safety Office unveiled its newest training aid to infantrymen of Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th IBCT – a personally owned vehicle rollover simulator.
Along with the simulator, soldiers with the '"Dragon" Brigade focused on classes featuring drug and alcohol awareness, sexual assault prevention, traffic safety, domestic violence prevention, cold weather safety and various other topics affecting their units.
"Safety keeps as many soldiers in the fight as possible. Any loss reduces the unit's and the Army's readiness and effectiveness," said Dawn Douglas, safety and occupation specialist, Garrison Safety Office. "Safety stand down is about securing yourself. It's about taking personal responsibility and ownership, ensuring every soldier walks away with the tools to live more carefully in the garrison environment."
The rollover simulator demonstrates various situations in which soldiers may be placed in when not wearing their seat belts. Although soldiers don't have the opportunity to sit within the simulator, they do have the ability to observe human dummies within the vehicle. As the operators from the safety office spoke to the soldiers, they conducted various demonstrations, showing how bodies will move throughout the vehicle when seat belts aren't worn.
Throughout the day, soldiers were briefed about safety during classes given by members from various on-post organizations, as well as soldiers within their organizations.
During an alcohol and drug awareness class given to soldiers with the Special Troops Battalion, 4th IBCT, Brandon French, substance abuse prevention coordinator, Army Substance Abuse Program, used personal experience, visual aids and soldier participation to get safety messages and awareness to the soldiers.
"Safety stand down gives soldiers a chance to reflect," French said. "These days are about getting soldiers involved and opening their eyes to trends that are taking place within their units and the overall Army.
"The soldiers really get the chance to hear about issues that are affecting their units. Safety stand down is a way to get soldiers involved and reinforce ideas, which will make them live safer lives and make them better more prepared soldiers."
As the day came to an end, soldiers within the brigade had received training and ideas with the purpose of leading them to a higher level of awareness and better decision making.
"Safety stand down is important. These are the best soldiers in the world," Douglas said. "In the garrison environment, fatalities and injuries are preventable. These safety days are designed to reinforce and reiterate safety aspects, giving soldiers the tools and ideas to make wise decisions which could save their lives."