By Story and photos by Stephanie LawrenceJune 16, 2009
With summer and the hazards it can bring looming in the near future, precautionary and safety measures were promoted for Soldiers and civilians alike at Fort Huachuca's Safety Day May 21 at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre.
The National Weather Service set up a booth at the event with two representatives available to speak to attendees about weather related safety and how it applies to them.
According to Kenneth Drozd, National Weather Service, one weather related hazard in Arizona can be avoided with a simple rule: Turn around, don't drown. This phrase has been promoted by the National Weather Service in part because the number-one weather-related killer is flash flooding. In Arizona this piece of advice should be heeded because rain can come in sudden downpours and the ground does not absorb the rain water quickly.
Driving through flowing water is especially dangerous. Drozd said, "It only takes one to one-and-a-half feet of water to float most cars, and two to three feet for trucks and SUVs. Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto-related."
Outside, the Fort Huachuca Fire Department held a demonstrative training exercise where they used a set of Jaws of Life® hydraulic tools to extricate an injured person from a vehicle accident for a group of about 75 Soldiers and civilians.
Jason Bryan, events coordinator, Fort Huachuca fire department, explained to the crowd what steps the rescue team was taking during the extrication. He said, "In a normal operation we could be inside this vehicle in about three to five minutes." Because this demonstration was also as a training exercise for the crew, they took their time during the extrication to insure all steps were followed properly. By the end of the demonstration, the SUV no longer resembled its previous self. The sides and the top of the vehicle had been completely detached to allow the crew to remove the trapped passenger.
Additionally, there were dozens of others on site to promote safety issues relative to the Arizona environment and the people here. Promotions regarding everything from health and well being, to emergency preparedness and personal safety were abundant. A quantity of fliers and promotional items were distributed, and two raffles were held for attendees to enter. Prizes included a Nintendo Wii® console and a complete first aid kit.