FORT DRUM, N.Y. (June 7, 2021) -- Fort Drum officials applauded workforce safety efforts across the installation during an awards presentation June 7 in Memorial Park.
The installation earned its first U.S. Army Exceptional Organization Safety Award – Garrison, after being recognized earlier this year with the U.S. Army Materiel Command Excellence in Safety for FY2020.
Maj. Gen. Brian J. Mennes, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander, and Col. Jeffery Lucas, Fort Drum garrison commander, accepted the plaque on behalf of the installation and presented Meritorious Civilian Service Medals to Joe Semones and Jim Farney from the Fort Drum Garrison Safety Office.
“What I find more often than not here at Fort Drum is excellence in a lot of great areas, and I am grateful to be here to celebrate this achievement with everyone and just to say thanks for what you are doing,” Mennes said.
Lucas said that the series of safety awards earned in the past year is a credit to an effective safety program and the seamless collaboration between garrison and division safety personnel.
Semones, Installation and Garrison Safety director, said that he wanted to acknowledge all of the Soldiers and civilians across Fort Drum who contribute to the overall safety of the community.
“This is not the Safety Office award, it’s the Fort Drum award,” he said. “It’s because of all the leaders on Fort Drum supporting the safety program and then the individuals executing the program and ensuring they perform their jobs safely that we were able to win this award.”
The installation’s safety program focuses on promoting a command climate that embraces safety as an enabler of readiness and contributes to the quality of life for the community. In fiscal year 2020, the Fort Drum civilian workforce experienced a 58-percent reduction in on-duty recordable injuries and illnesses and recorded its 10th consecutive year without a Class A or B accident.
Also last year, the Garrison Safety Office executed 24 of the 26 program elements of the Army Safety Program and completed annual Army and Occupational Health inspections of all 643 garrison facilities. They conducted quarterly compliance assessments of child development centers, evaluated on-post homes for Family Child Care certifications, administered and investigated all garrison accidents, and maintained the installation hazard log.
As the installation developed COVID-19 protocol and implemented safety measures, organizations such as Directorate of Public Works; Directorate of Human Resources; Directorate of Emergency Services; Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; and Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation all contributed to the coordination and response to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Initiatives included the following:
- DPW assisted with establishing drive-up pharmacy service at Guthrie Clinic to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19.
- DHR secured funding for infrared thermometers, personal protective equipment and contingency response kits for screening locations.
- DPTMS monitored COVID-19 trends within the 350-mile radius and provided guidance on changes to protective measures.
- DFMWR shifted child development center populations to provide the greatest amount of protection for youths and families.
“We go above and beyond to make Fort Drum a safe place to live, work and play,” Semones said.
The award coincided with the first day of Fort Drum Safety Week, which emphasizes workplace safety awareness.
“This gives all of our organizations the time to take a look at any of their programs that require an annual review and allows them to do things like job hazard analysis or any specific safety training that is due,” he said.
To learn more about the Fort Drum Garrison Safety Office, visit https://home.army.mil/drum/index.php/about/Garrison/safety-office.