Safety Day at the 100th focuses on fire/water
May 31, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Once a quarter, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) takes a day to focus on safety instruction. The May 11 classes featured outdoor topics to match the pending summer weather - water safety and general fire safety to include fireworks.
Water safety was taught by 1st Lt. Jason Delange, unit safety officer. Boating and swimming practices were discussed, and Delange emphasized that common sense was the key to surviving both. Personal flotation devices are a federal requirement, and a slide show demonstrated the multiple types available and appropriateness for usage in different situations.
Some of the dangers associated with boating include drinking and boating, collisions, exposure, hypothermia, sudden weather changes, and people attempting to swim to shore after a boating accident, instead of staying with the boat. Proper emergency equipment can alleviate some of those dangers, such as first aid supplies, cell phones, flashlights, maps, an extra oar or paddle in case of engine breakdown, boat ladders and anchors. Always informing someone on shore about your float plan is also critical.
The swimming safety portion centered around a set of rules. Delange listed them, "Swim in authorized areas only, never swim alone, avoid cold water temperatures, obey "no diving" signs, don't eat or chew gum while swimming, never leave a child alone, and look before you leap, and when you leap, go feet first."
Delange also touched on kayaking and fishing safety.
The next class was taught by Fort Carson Fire Marshall Robert Wuchner. Fireworks safety was fairly easy; it's illegal in this city.
"Having said that," Wuchner continued, "it still looks like a war zone on the 4th of July, with all the fireworks going off. Last year we had six house fires on the 4th."
Camping safety was the next topic. "Please don't pull a barbecue grill inside your tent," said Wuchner, to general laughter from the audience of Soldiers. "Don't laugh," said Wuchner, "people do it every year and start fires that way, or are exposed to carbon monoxide buildup."
"Don’t use gasoline to start fires, and always keep a bucket of water next to your campfire. The weather conditions this year have us drier than 2002, the year we lost 200,000 acres to fire. With the increasing city population, we're going to have more campers than ever this year, so please be careful."
A class on motorcycle and bicycling safety rounded off the day. Staff Sgt. Biff Yelensky talked about the importance of proper equipment for both, which includes helmets for Soldiers by Army regulation, despite the fact that this state allows riders to go without. He quoted grim statistics that showed the death rates of helmetless riders. He ended with a cautionary note for all the drivers in the room to "share the road."
Classes finished, 100th MDB (GMD) Soldiers were released to enjoy the summer in safety.