Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Army Soldiers try new approach to safety

(U.S. Army photo/DJ Montoya) Spc. Justin Spurgeon, 1st Space Battalion, gives the thumbs up prior to a ride on the “Seat Belt Convincer” during USASMDC/ARSTRAT Safety Expo Day at Peterson’s Eagle Park.

By DJ Montoya

1st Space Brigade

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Soldiers from the 1st Space Brigade took time off from their important space mission to participate in a U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/ Army Forces Strategic Command Safety Expo conducted at Peterson’s Eagle Park Sept. 22.

The purpose was to conduct a semi-annual safety stand down day ensuring Soldiers understand the importance of safety and the measures that they can take to prevent unnecessary accidents both on and off duty.

“An informed Soldier will know how to minimize risk and how to help keep other Soldiers of the 1st Space Brigade safe,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Ellis, training/schools, S3 section, 1st Space Brigade.

The outdoor expo offered a total of 14 vendors from not only Peterson but Fort Carson and the surrounding Colorado Springs area. Soldiers and SMDC/ARSTRAT civilians were able to go from station to station receiving instruction and in some case having hands-on experience in various areas from fire safety to winter readiness.

A few of the areas of instruction included food and hearing safety, 21st Space Wing Public Health; winter recreation sports, 21st Space Wing Outdoor Recreation; winter driving, Colorado Springs Police Department; chain saw safety, Home Depot; cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator; Pikes Peak Community College and motorcycle safety, Wheels in Motion Inc.

Participants got to sample winter survival food, experience using a chemical fire extinguisher and feel the impact of coming to a sudden stop in the ‘Seat Belt Convincer.’

According to Ellis preparation for this semi-annual safety day stand down started to take place at the end of July.

“We decided to do something different this year because the standard Power Point brief is boring and has little interest and doesn’t really get the point across normally. People lose interest real quick.”

The feedback from the vendors and the Soldiers has been very positive, especially the Soldiers. They found it very informative and enjoyed because it was actually different and they got to interact.

“Way better than the old Power Point slide presentation,” said Staff Sgt. Maricris Remigio, 1st Space Battalion. “There was good interaction between our various units within the brigade.”

From Sgt. Jarod Ruff, 1st Space Battalion the reaction was the same, “I liked how they had the actual subject matter experts instead of having one of us go on-line and do the research.”

According to Ellis it was a win for the vendors as it gave them an opportunity to work with the Soldiers.

“They provided Soldiers with resources in the community they did not know about before.”

Ellis hopes the next one will be similar to the one this past September, with more interaction between Soldiers and vendors in the form of hands-on with equipment.

Although the expo was an SMDC/ARSTRAT event the true foundations for the success of the day belong to the brigade.

According to Ellis, Spc. Nichole Caduff, an operations specialist in the brigade’s S3 shop, was the key lynch pin for the day’s event.

“She is a Reservist who came here for her second (annual training) and we placed her in charge of coordinating the initial event,” said Ellis.

“Caduff did a great job doing face-to-face with everybody including all the vendors, even on the morning of the event.”

Capt. Jonathan Gendron, the brigade’s S-6 summed it up by saying, “This is one of the best safety day’s I’ve ever seen.”

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