Safety First

By U.S. Army Capt. Scott. Campbell, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs OfficerJune 23, 2017

Safety First
Maj. Fahad Burhamah (center), Kuwait Land Forces safety officer, is joined by Sgt. 1st Class Ellen Billmyer (left), 29th Infantry Division safety noncommissioned officer, and Maj. Doug Austin (right), 29th Infantry Division safety officer, for a phot... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT -- Pioneering the Kuwait Land Forces Safety program may be a daunting task, but Maj. Fahad Burhamah, the Kuwait Land Forces' newly appointed safety officer, is certainly up to the task.

Maj. Doug Austin and Sgt. 1st Class Ellen Billmyer from the 29th Infantry Division's Safety Office are supporting Fahad's efforts. Austin and Billmyer met with Maj. Fahad to develop a risk management training plan for the Kuwaiti Land Forces using the U.S. Army's deliberate risk management tools and processes.

Safety is something most of us take for granted. Once we know that touching a hot stove hurts, we tend to avoid it. Relying on that innate trial and error process to gain that knowledge can be costly. In an Army whose business involves weaponry and heavy equipment, it can often be deadly.

Proactive safety programs have been proven to reduce fatalities, lost time injuries, enhance overall operational effectiveness, and preserve combat power.

"Strong safety programs are a proven force multiplier", said Austin, who has been the Division's safety officer since 2016. "Once commanders realize the value of a good unit safety officer, and that he is there to assist in overall mission accomplishment, they are very enthusiastic and supportive," Austin continued.

"As a mother, I look at the world differently, and tend to see things many people might not notice. I look at certain situations and see a trip to the emergency room waiting to happen! I want to pass that sense of caution and urgency on, so that no one gets hurt," said Billmyer.

The trio is on a mission and we're all safer for their efforts!