By Ms. Elizabeth Behring (AMC)May 18, 2017
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- What do snakes, kickboxing, police dogs and readiness classes have in common? All were part of Army Materiel Command and the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's first-ever joint Wellness and Safety Day, May 17, 2017.
About 500 employees attended the event, which kicked off with a wellness and safety walk at 7 a.m. and boasted some 20 stations and interactive displays that focused on general safety and the Army Performance Triad. The triad consists of sleep, activity and nutrition. Employees also had the ability to acquire credit for the mandatory DoD training classes for suicide prevention and substance abuse, as well as Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention.
"This was a great opportunity to not only get employees out of the building on a nice day, but so they could participate in healthy activities and open up their minds to the resources available to them. It also gave them a chance to maybe learn a little about themselves," said D.N. "Butch" Wootten, AMC's safety director.
Activity stations consisted of a boot camp circuit, yoga and spinning classes, free massage therapy and more. Nanetta Dougherty, an administrative assistant for the Foreign Military Sales department at USASAC-Central Command Region, made it her goal to complete each of the 20-minute classes offered at one booth.
"I haven't worked out for a while, so I'm trying to get back into it. This is perfect to jumpstart my workout for the summer," Dougherty said. "When you're working out, you have to think about your safety, because you can hurt yourself if you are not acclimated to the proper procedures," she added.
Other wellness stations included blood pressure and bone density screening, whole foods and supplement samples, pain management and injury prevention, stress reduction and presentations from local community activity centers.
Kelly J. Smith, a conservation law enforcement officer with Redstone Arsenal's Directorate of Emergency Services, brought several snakes--some poisonous--as well as preserved samples of brown recluse spiders to demonstrate what not to do around the animals, as well as basic first aid treatment in the case of a bite. For example, he said, some poisonous snakes do not inject toxins on the first "warning" bite, but those who encounter them should visit a healthcare facility even if they're feeling fine and are not displaying any symptoms, as it can take time for the poison to get into the bloodstream.
Across from the snake tent, Cooley, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, wowed an assembled crowd with his ability to subdue suspects and protect his fellow officers in a variety of circumstances. The police canine is also trained in narcotics detection.
Other booths and displays included a chaplain's spiritual wellness corner; fire arm safety, sponsored by a company founded by retired AMC employee Karen Butler that empowers women to participate in shooting sports; a mobile weather station and a motorcycle safety demonstration.
Rick Calnon, USASAC Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, said he considered the event a success. "Our most important commodity is our people, and we owe it to them to have a healthy workforce. If we invest in our people and help them take care of themselves, we all benefit," Calnon said.