FORT HOOD, Texas - The Clear Creek Post Exchange parking lot was filled with fire trucks, military vehicles, games, information booths, and bounce houses Apr. 30 as the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade sponsored the III Corps and Fort Hood Safety Day.
"We expected to see a couple of thousand people come out to Safety Day," said 1st Lt. Nathan Blackwell, who helped organize the event. "We welcomed all of Fort Hood and the surrounding communities."
The 664th Ordnance Company and the 96th Transportation Company joined forces to help set up and run a vehicle inspection tent where Soldiers and volunteers provided free safety checks for vehicles.
The car inspection area was one of the biggest attractions of the day. People drove their vehicles under the tent to get free car seats or booster seat replacements for their kids. Army Community Service experts helped put the car seats together; they also helped install them in the people's vehicles.
Parents were shown how to properly inspect their child's safety seat. Those checks included: matching the correct seat to the right child depending upon size and how to ensure that the safety straps were adjusted the right way.
"We replaced a car seat for one family because the child was too heavy for the seat they were using," said Sharon Jackson-Smith, a trainer with the Army Family Advocacy Program. "We had new seats on hand to make replacements in those types of situation."
"We also had a recall list and we checked all of the seats to make sure they were not on the list," she said.
Many civilian organizations were present at the Safety Day such as the Texas Rescue Riders.
"We are motorcycle riders learning what to do when riders go down," said Sherryanna VanZandt, the governor of Rescue Riders. "We came out to the last Safety Day here in November, and we had 40 new members within a few hours of leaving here."
The Rescue Riders prepare volunteer motorcycle riders for accident scene management before emergency responders arrive.
"We came out today to encourage people to at least carry a first aid kit on their motorcycle, whether or not they are interested in volunteering with our organization," VanZandt said.
The Army Substance Abuse Program provided the other big draw at Safety Day. They had "drunk goggles" that simulated the level of impairment a person would experience with a .08 blood alcohol level.
Participants learned how dangerous it can be to drive after drinking by wearing the goggles and trying to walk a straight line painted on the ground. No one walked the line successfully.