Bi-annual Safety Stand Down tunes up Soldier awareness
February 20, 2014
FORT BLISS, Texas -- The 5th Armored Brigade conducted its bi-annual Safety Stand Down Day, at Biggs Park here recently.
Soldiers gathered and braved the chilly weather to hear about various safety concerns for the upcoming summer while reiterating safety procedures that come along with being an observer-coach/trainer to deploying forces.
"As observer-coach/trainers, we are always constantly monitoring training units that are at different levels of training proficiency," said Col. Raul E. Gonzalez, 5th Armored Brigade commander. "So it's very important that our OC/Ts are tuned in to safety and that they can predict and prevent problems and be able to intervene before it's an issue."
The training was broken into six different stations throughout the park, where Soldiers would spend up to 30 minutes hearing lectures and conducting practical exercises on the various topics.
Soldiers were expected to be able to properly fill out a Composite Risk Management worksheet, know what to do when it comes to emergency planning in their household, and know how to identify and properly handle chemicals in the workplace or at home. A local car dealership also talked about vehicle safety and how to prepare a car for the summer.
Turi Salinas, a 23-year game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, taught Soldiers how to recognize local wildlife and know the various hunting rules in Texas and Mexico.
"We were given an opportunity to come down here and talk to military personnel concerning the danger that they might face in the field concerning wildlife, such as the five types of rattlesnakes that are indigenous to this area as well as the other animals like the oryx, bobcats, and mountain lions," said Salinas.
Soldiers also interacted with Lt. Jack Waite, a 30-year veteran with the El Paso Sheriff's Office, who is currently the training director at their training academy. Waite discussed gun safety, carrying laws in Texas, and even handed out free gun locks to Soldiers.
The day closed with an awards presentation for the civilians that taught during the safety stand down.
"All of this training is going to not only help the units we train or our units, but the individual Soldiers can translate this knowledge to their families," said Gonzalez. "That way we don't have vehicle or gun incidents, and those are the things that make this training a success."