Wellness Wednesday highlights health, safety
May 22, 2014
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Healthy habits and smart choices were the focus of "Wellness Wednesday" activities at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center May 14. Team APG and the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command hosted the first-time event in celebration of Armed Forces Week.
The day-long event featured on and off post vendors who distributed information about tobacco cessation, Lyme disease, suicide prevention awareness, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, asthma, weight control, exercise, stress management, workplace safety, distracted driving and more. Several on-post organizations also presented demonstrations showcasing their latest technologies.
Philip Sause from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's Motorcycle Safety Program led the Safe Motorcyclist Awareness and Recognition Trainer, or SMARTrainer demonstration. A traffic situation simulator, the SMARTrainer offers several driving scenarios to measure how riders react to hazardous situations. Sause said motorcycle classes are required for Soldiers and are highly recommended for civilians. These courses teach participants the special skills and mental strategies necessary for responsible motorcycle operation.
Sauce said a concern for motorcyclists in hot weather is dehydration and heat exhaustion.
"Proper protective gear will keep you more comfortable than just wearing a thin t-shirt and shorts," he said.
For more information about motorcycle safety, visit http://www.mva.maryland.gov/safety/mhso/program-motorcycle-safety.htm.
At the Army Substance Abuse Program demonstration, attendees were asked to "drive" adult tricycles while wearing goggles that simulate drunken impairment.
Some of the symptoms of impairment include disorientation, image distortion and altered space perception. Master Sgt. Sheila Sango, from ATEC, said the goggles were a helpful teaching tool and that she hopes the experience will influence more people to just say "no" to drinking and driving.
"A lot of people believe they are not intoxicated, when they are," Sango said.
ASAP Prevention Coordinator Cindy Scott said she enjoyed watching people experience the goggles.
"When people get something out of something like this--that's the greatest thing to me," Scott said.
Another highlight was the Aberdeen Test Center Roadrunner Simulator. Developed by the ATC's Technical Imaging Division, the program simulates the type of data that is collected at ATC testing sites. Eventually the simulator will allow people to "visit" different ATEC testing locations around the world.
Recruitment/Outreach Program Manager Christina Bryant, from ATEC, said the simulator is primarily used at STEM outreach events for elementary and middle school students.
"I am glad to see that kids get this opportunity," said Barb DeSchepper from the Army Contracting Command-APG. "I wish they had something like this when I was younger."
Attendee Diana Reeves from ATEC said the event was informative.
"It's an opportunity for people to come out and see what's at APG and get to see some displays and learn about what we do. We're here as a team to demonstrate what we do to support our service members. "
Vendors included the U.S. Army Public Health Command; Army Research, Development and Engineering Command; Army Communications- Electronics Command; Army Research Laboratory; ATEC; Army Community Service; APG Army Wellness Center; Installation Safety Office; Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers; APG Veterinarian Clinic; ASAP; Installation Voter Assistance Office; TRICARE Regional Office North; the Mid-Atlantic Asthma Foundation; Harford County Health Department; the Army Education Outreach Program; and the National Capital Lyme and Tick-Bourne Disease Association.