Fort Sill's Operation Live Well Health Expo promotes healthy lifestyles
April 10, 2014
FORT SILL, Okla. (April 10, 2014) -- Hearing the smoke detector and seeing smoke in the house, Chloe Wolfe, 11, of Anadarko, picked up the phone and dialed 9-1-1.
She told the dispatcher her home address, and that the four family members were trying to leave the burning home. Crawling on the ground with her sister, Arraya, 2; her mother, Jessica; and her grandfather Joe, Chloe led them to a door.
She felt the temperature of the door with the back of her hand. It was cool, so she opened the door and the family escaped the burning structure.
The Wolfes were one of the families who visited the Fort Sill Fire and Emergency Services Smoke House to learn about home fire safety. It was part of the Fort Sill Operation Live Well Health Expo where the community could learn about health, fitness, safety and wellness April 4 at Prichard Field here.
About 45 private, local, state and federal agency exhibitors were on hand to provide information to an expected 3,000 to 5,000 visitors from throughout Southwest Oklahoma, said Capt. Jasmin Gregory, Reynolds Army Community Hospital (RACH) public health nurse and officer in charge of the health side of the expo.
"There are multiple resources in the Lawton-Fort Sill community that can help you live an active, healthy lifestyle, but a lot of times it's just a lack of awareness of what's out there, so I hope people today can take away a lot of information," Gregory said. Exhibitors and activities ranged from health screenings to nutritious cooking to a Zumbafest to lawn mower safety.
OLW is part of the DoD's Healthy Base Initiative launched last summer to promote healthy living. Thirteen military installations nationwide are participating in the initiative with Fort Sill as one of only two Army posts in the program.
Garry Gaede, Field Artillery Branch safety manager, was the action officer for the safety side of the expo. He said it was the first time Fort Sill conducted a postwide, community safety fair.
"A lot of these exhibits are to protect people's lives," said Gaede, pointing to KSWO-TV's storm tracker vehicle. "Everything we have here from motorcycle safety to the smoke house to severe weather to identifying unexploded ordnance is all to protect people."
With April designated as sexual abuse, and alcohol abuse awareness month, the expo provided a timely opportunity to educate people on these topics.
Janice Carter, Army Substance Abuse Prevention Risk Reduction program coordinator, and other ASAP staff provided information on the responsibilities of consuming alcohol.
"Oklahoma has some of the toughest DUI laws," Carter said. "The BAC (blood alcohol concentration) to be considered intoxicated is .08, and there is also a zero tolerance for drivers under the age of 21, who have any measurable alcohol in their system."
Some visitors at the ASAP booth drove golf carts between pylons while wearing drunk goggles to simulate the visual impairment of a drunk driver. Hitting cones and running over the curb were a common occurence for the "impaired" drivers.
The Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention staff, sporting teal ribbons painted on their faces, were at a booth providing literature and giving prizes to those who passed a brief SHARP quiz.
"We want to highlight that SHARP is not just a response, but it has a prevention piece to it," said Leslie Watts, Garrison sexual assault response coordinator. "When we tie it to the Healthy Base Initiative it is a health issue, so people can learn how to prevent these issues from occurring, and then later we can prevent mental health or medical issues."
Motorcyclists had the chance to meet with Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers, who spoke about riding safety and advanced courses run by OHP. Visitors could also talk with Fort Sill Army motorcycle mentors.
First Sgt. Johannes Bowers, 214th Fires Brigade motorcycle mentor, and other mentors ran a booth that featured safe riding tips, proper riding apparel, as well as tips for motorists when encountering motorcycles. Bowers informed riders about new Army riding regulations.
"One of the new changes is that you have to wear full-fingered, made-for-motorcycle gloves you can't just wear any pair of gloves," Bowers said. "Even the armored shooting gloves are not authorized because they're not made for motorcycles."
At the Platt College booth, students and staff offered blood glucose and blood pressure screenings as well as free massages -- a popular attraction.
Virtually every brigade, unit, tenant agency and directorate was represented at the six-hour expo, whether with Soldiers and civilians working at booths or volunteering to help run the expo. Many units incorporated the expo as part of their duty day, including battalions with Advanced Individual Training Soldiers; as well as DA civilians making time to visit the expo.
About a half-dozen food service specialists from the 75th Fires Brigade, who work at the Garcia Dining Facility, performed three grilling demonstrations narrated by Capt. Deana Lawrence, RACH chief of nutrition care.
"We're showing how to incorporate fruits and veggies into your picnics and barbecues for healthy eating," said Lawrence, a registered dietitian. "The aim is make half of your plate fruits and vegetables."
One of the exhibits was for barbecue safety -- something not to be taken lightly considering there have been about 14 recent fires in post housing because of unsafe grilling, said Col. Glenn Waters, Fort Sill Garrison commander.
Gaede said safety doesn't stop when the expo is over, but it is a constant vigil, as the Army is about to begin its "101 Critical Days of Summer Safety."