365 and Counting
August 29, 2007
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Last Sunday, the 82nd Airborne Division set a new record.
There have been no personally-owned vehicle accident fatalities for 365 days and counting.
"From what I can recall, we have never made it this long; in the 26 years I have been serving the 82nd Abn. Div," said Angel Serrano, the rear detachment safety officer.
"The Division actually set new records for itself when it went its third and fourth consecutive 82 days without an accident fatality," Serrano added.
The last accident fatality the Division sustained was when Pfc. Alexander Cunningham from 2nd Battalion, 325th Abn. Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, was in a motorcycle accident Aug. 26, 2006, Serrano said.
"The 82nd Airborne Division has approached accident reduction with the same intensity and professionalism used to conduct a combat mission," said retired Sgt. Maj. David Henderson, the Division's safety officer, currently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. "The command clearly understands safety of each Trooper is paramount to mission accomplishment and takes proactive measures to protect the force."
"A major factor in the reduction of accidents in the Division is the addition of the Brigade Combat Team (BCT) Safety Professionals," added Henderson. "These highly dedicated individuals are literally the eyes and ears of the commander on safety matters."
"They provide support to the units both on Fort Bragg and the units deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq," Henderson said. "Their dedication to safe mission accomplishment and hands on approach to safety resulted in a significant reduction in reportable accidents."
One incentive Paratroopers earn for not incurring an accident fatality are safety holidays.
Every 82 days the Division goes without an accidental fatality, the troopers receive either a three- or four-day weekend, said Serrano.
Henderson recently submitted the Division to receive the Army Individual Award for Excellence in Safety, for reaching an outstanding number of days with no accident fatalities.