Safety officer addresses off duty risks during virtual safety stand down
597th Transportation Brigade Safety Officer Darren Reese addressed off duty risks such as falls , hidden hazards in the home, swimming safety, motorcycle safety during a virtual Safety Stand Down at Fort Eustis, Va. Aug. 18. (Photo Credit: ...) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va.—Soldiers and civilians assigned to the 597th Transportation Brigade participated in a virtual safety stand down that included a discussion on fall prevention, hidden hazards in the home, swimming safety, motorcycle safety and other off duty risks at Fort Eustis, Va. Aug. 18.

It is important to review safety training because the skills are perishable, according to Darren Reese, the subject matter expert on safety.

Reese opened the training by sharing a story of growing up in Guam and Hawaii and how he learned safety and self-reliance from his mother.

"She was absolutely fearless and I was fortunate to learn how to pay attention to signs around you because there is not always a life guard on duty," Reese said.

Reese learned to swim at a young age and he learned how to survive a rip current when he was just seven years old. Once, he and his brothers explored an underwater cave unsupervised. He remembers that bystanders were shocked and their first reaction was to call 911. Emergency responders rushed to the scene but by then, the boys were already back on the beach. The experience taught him that it is important to be self-reliant by being knowledgeable about risks because help is not guaranteed to arrive.

During the class, he also went over when and where to intervene or assist in a crisis and he presented information relevant to personnel in the Hampton Roads area, which is also a beach community and water-related risks during the summer.

Other topics covered included a discussion on strategies to identify the hidden hazards in the home, the risks and benefits of riding a motorcycle and the return on investment on a proper full-face motorcycle helmet.

The main message was that it is important to stay safe while off duty because there are more injuries and deaths off duty.

The 597th Transportation Brigade is a part of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, responsible for integrating and synchronizing surface deployment and distribution capabilities in the Continental U.S, deploying and sustaining the Armed Forces off the East and Gulf coasts in support of global operations and U.S. Southern Command.

Additionally, the command stands ready to provide surface rapid port opening capabilities via the Army’s only three Rapid Port Opening Elements in support of its global Joint Task Force Port Opening mission.