This summer choose safety

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Dean Wright
  • 49th Fighter Wing safety office
Would you: Drink alcohol and then drive? Ride in a car without a seatbelt? Ride a motorcycle without a helmet? Drive too fast for conditions? Surf or swim in dangerous waters?

Last summer, 18 Air Force members did just that. Now they're dead. They're dead because they failed to properly assess the risks associated with their activities and they took unnecessary chances.

As many of you know, Memorial Day traditionally kicks off the "101 Critical Days of Summer" safety campaign. This year, Holloman kicked off the campaign with our Safety/Sports Day May 18. Even though the weather here is pretty nice all year round, we generally experience greater exposures to risky activities during the summer season.

Whether you're at a summer backyard party, driving cross-country on vacation, playing soccer or softball, or just swimming at Elephant Butte, every activity has risks and you need to remain aware of them. It's so easy to get caught up in the moment and not pay complete attention to what's going on around you. But, often times only you are in your exact moment. Only you can assess the risks of your actions and activities you're participating in. Only you can take appropriate actions to reduce or eliminate them.

As a good wingman, watch out for your fellow Airmen and family. If an Airman has a mishap that takes him out of his job, someone else has to pick up his slack. If your child or spouse has a mishap, it could easily cause you to miss work as well - again, someone else has to assume your responsibilities. And, with the continually decreasing size of the Air Force, these sorts of mishaps will have larger impacts on our ability to execute the mission.

As we enter into our summer season and the 101 Critical Days of Summer we, at the 49th Fighter Wing Safety Office, invite you to take a short time-out and think about your safety and the safety of others. Whether you're at home, on vacation or at work, be alert to your surroundings and make smart decisions to reduce or eliminate the risk. As our commander Brig. Gen. David Goldfein says, "Work hard, play smart."