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Station prepares for critical days of summer

By Pfc. Mauro Sanchez | | May 22, 2006

The Department of Safety and Standardization conducted a safety stand down May 22 at the station theater.

The stand-down kicked off the Naval Safety Center’s Critical Days of Summer 2006 campaign theme, “24/7: Operation Summer Force Preservation.”

The entire operation will last 17 weeks, said Ross Chapa, DSS tactical safety specialist.

Each week, the campaign will cover a different safety theme, ranging from seat belts to water safety, added Chapa.

The safety representatives from each unit will determine how they want to approach each week’s safety topic, said Chapa.

According to the center’s Web site, http://www.safetycenter.navy.mil, the goal of this outreach strategy is to remind sailors and Marines of their responsibility to be alert, aware, and able to manage risk all day, every day.

The stand-down began with racing and general auto safety presentations given to station Marines by Driven2Dare Racing, a professional racing team.

The team also had a racing vehicle display, featuring a Marine Corps drag racer, set up in the commissary parking lot.

The owner of the racing team, Sandy Bauler, said they wanted to give back to the men and women of the armed forces, and the safety presentations were a good way to do so.

This is the second year D2D has had the opportunity to speak with military members, said Bauler.

A few good tips to keep in mind when traveling by vehicle are to always wear a seat belt, have an emergency kit in the vehicle (first-aid kit, flashlight, fire extinguisher, blanket, flares, shovel, chains, tools, etc.), own a cell phone and roadside assistance, said Bauler.

Many people on the road drive too fast and irresponsibly, so it’s important that service members drive defensively and have a plan, she added.

It’s good for the Marines to get fresh perspectives on safety, said Maj. Cesar Freitas, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron safety officer.

The D2D team has a lot of experience and is able to provide a unique professional perspective, added Freitas.

The day also featured a boating-safety presentation at the Search and Rescue Hangar given by two Yuma County Sheriffs Office deputies.

The deputies spoke about boating laws and boat safety. The best way to handle a boat is to apply the same safety standards used when handling a car, said Deputy Jason

Hemstreet. Stay on the right side of the water and be aware of your surroundings, including other boaters, he said.

It is the responsibility of all Marines to ensure each other’s safety, said Chapa. Last summer, 43 Marines and sailors died, one of which was from here, said Chapa. One death is too many.

The station’s safety goal is to reduce all incidents by at least 50 percent from last year and 75 percent in the next two years, said Chapa.

“With the (safety) team we have, our goal will be easily attainable,” he said.

The summertime is especially dangerous for Marines and sailors, said Chapa.

The station commanding officer used to be a Department of Public Safety offi- cer, so he knows the importance of vehicle safety, especially during the holidays, said Chapa.

It is imperative that Marines use common sense during their free time, he said.
Operational Risk Management is not just for the workplace; it can and should be applied in all situations.

Even though the presentations and information given to the Marines are recommendations, they need to constantly think before they decide to do anything, added Chapa.

If Marines plan ahead and stay away from spontaneous activities, this summer could be the safest yet, he said.

For questions about safety procedures, Marines should contact their unit’s safety officer or the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office.

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