Learning about safety at Natick
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Learning about safety at Natick
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Josue Diaz swerved to avoid oncoming traffic as he tried to pass a large truck on a busy two-lane highway.

"I passed the first one," said Diaz later, "but the second one was hard."

Just another day of negotiating the challenging Massachusetts roads' No, actually, Diaz was sitting in a parked car Oct. 21 at U.S. Army Garrison Natick during Fall/Winter Safety Day.

Diaz had just taken off a virtual-reality headset that had connected him to a lightweight, portable driving simulator. Representatives from Drive Square, Inc., were on hand to put willing participants through a variety of scenarios to test their abilities behind the wheel.

"He's doing OK," said Drive Square's Fausto Molinet of Diaz. "It's a tough scenario."

"It was pretty interesting," Diaz said.

The same could be said of the overall Safety Day, which featured a number of informative displays by organizations from on and off post in and around the Lord Community Center. Everything from holiday safety to winter fire safety to automobile tire wear was covered.

"We cannot function without safety," said John Suiter, Natick safety director. "We practice safety every day of our lives. Most people just don't realize it."

Suiter said he had hoped to provide "just a good, round safety knowledge. Safety, it's not my program. It's everybody's program. Everybody's responsible for safety."

At the installation displays inside Lord, topics included health and wellness, travel preparation, holiday decoration safety, home safety, storm safety, risk management and Halloween safety.

Among Suiter's goals was to bring in such vendors as Drive Square, Bass Pro Shops, Bridgestone, the Natick Outdoor Store, and REI.

"I think we can really grow on this," Suiter said. "I really would like to get more participation from the outside vendors."

Suiter mentioned boating safety as a possible point of emphasis for next year.

"If you can get people to enjoy coming to these events," said Suiter, "these events will automatically make themselves successful. Once you get that ball rolling down the hill, you let it keep on rolling."