Story and photos by Nel Lampe
It’s Anthony Padilla’s job to keep safety in mind. As Garrison Safety and Occupational
Health specialist, he tries to get Mountain Post Community members to think about safety by holding a fall and winter safety day.
In spite of the cold weather, attendance at safety day was better than last year, said Padilla. Although people may know about winter driving hazards, people get complacent, he said.
Hopefully, people attending safety day might learn a lifesaving tip by watching a demonstration or picking up a brochure.
“More people should have been there,” he said.
Videos about safety issues, hunting safety, outdoor recreation safety, gas and electricity dangers were set up in the Special Events Center.
In the far corner of the parking lot, a fire department representative demonstrated how quickly a cooking fire flares up. Nathan Hug, post fire inspector, showed onlookers how to quickly extinguish the fire by using a lid to cut off oxygen.
“Don’t pour water on a grease fire. Water only spreads the fire,” Hug said, demonstrating the effect of pouring water on a pan fire.
In the Special Events Center, Ray Anderson and Bill Morse of Colorado Springs Utilities drew crowds with their demonstrations about the dangers of electricity and natural gas.
Morse added a spark to a small amount of natural gas in a house model, almost blowing its roof off.
“Don’t grab the phone to call 911 if you suspect gas,” he said. Traditional phones and wireless phones can provide a spark. A cell phone is the least dangerous but still poses a risk. “Get outside, then make your cell phone call,” Morse said.
Jacob and Pat Jackson came to the Special Events Center for a seasonal flu shot, then were drawn to safety day by the exhibits.
Pat said she hadn’t known about some of the dangers that were shown by the CSU demonstrators. She wished her grandchildren, niece and nephew could have seen the demonstrations.
“Sometimes kids do dangerous things,” she said, recalling an incident when a radio was too near the bathtub.
Maj. Charles Ogden, commander, 1st Mobility Brigade, talked with Nonie Rispin at the Designated Driver of Colorado Springs booth. Rispin explained that anyone can call the number, 650-3450, Tuesdays-Saturdays, from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. and let the dispatcher know you need a ride home. Military members should tell the dispatcher they are military.
Rispin said people should call 30-45 minutes before they are ready to leave, and someone will arrive to drive them and their cars home. Callers must provide current proof of insurance and registration. They will pick up a Soldier anywhere they call from, although the organization usually only picks people up at sponsoring establishments.
“We give back (to Soldiers) and thank you for what you do,” Rispin said.
Another popular exhibit was the interactive exhibit demonstrating how alcohol impairs a person’s judgment and ability to drive.
Volunteers wore “drunk goggles” while driving a golf cart or trying to walk a straight line, to the amusement of co-workers.
The goggles were “eye opening,” said Rick Rivero of Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Armed Forces Strategic Command, who was with a group of co-workers who came from Peterson Air Force Base to attend safety day. “It was interesting to see how ‘double vision’ complicated what you’re used to doing,” he said.
Teri Steele, a civilian employee co-worker from the same organization, said that wearing the drunk goggles was a strange experience.
After each volunteer completed the driving course, Spc. Joelene Raciborski, a traffic investigator assigned to 148th Military Police Detachment, 759th Military PoliceBattalion, tested each volunteer with sobriety tests.
“All the drivers demonstrated the three indicators and would have been under arrest,” she said.
Edgardo A. Menjivar prevention coordinator, Army Substance Abuse Program, said people learn from wearing the drunk goggles.
“People don’t realize how their senses are affected (by drinking),” he said.
Padilla was pleased that a Boy Scout leader who attended Safety Day plans to use some of the same resources to conduct a safety day for Boy Scouts
“I wish more people could take advantage of attending safety day,” Padilla said