Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Event stresses winter safety

2nd Lt. Jessica Brown, 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), drives a golf cart through an obstacle course while wearing “drunk goggles” as part of Garrison Safety Day Oct. 20.

Story and photo by Andrea Sutherland

Mountaineer staff

With winter approaching, garrison safety officials amped efforts to educate the community about storm preparation and driving, fire safety and sustainability Oct. 20 at the Special Events Center.

“It’s an awareness (campaign),” said Denny Fluharty, manager of safety and occupational health. “We like to think safety first. … It affects every aspect of our lives.”

Held twice a year, Garrison Safety Days focus on weather-specific activities.

“This is our fall version,” Fluharty said. “We have (educational) booths on ice removal, winter driving, fire safety, bicycle safety and fire demonstrations.”

Representatives from Sustainable Fort Carson, Colorado Springs Utilities, Army Substance Abuse Program, Conservation Law Enforcement and the Fort Carson Outdoor Recreation Center gave demonstrations and handed out information on various cold-weather activities and issues.

Army Community Service representatives provided attendees fliers on preparing for winter storms and natural disasters.

“People should plan for their pets, too,” said Eduardo Bernardo, ACS logistics, operations and administrative assistant. “We focus so much on preparing our family, sometimes we forget about our pets.”

In Colorado Springs, the average seasonal snowfall is 41.1 inches, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

ACS representatives encourage community members to properly insulate their homes, caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows and insulate pipes to prevent freezing. In the event that the electricity goes out, ACS suggests keeping an ample supply of wood for fireplaces; keeping a well-vented camping stove with fuel; or keeping a portable kerosene heater on hand.

On the roads, drivers should have a full tank of gas to prevent the fuel line from freezing. Drivers should also keep an emergency supply kit with rock salt, sand, snow shovels as well as winter clothing, blankets and flashlights.

Bernardo said businesses should have a plan for winter emergencies, also.

Several Soldiers attended the event, testing the “Seat Belt Demonstrator” and bicycle safety and “drunk goggle” driving demonstrations.

“I tried (the drunk goggles) just for fun,” said 2nd Lt. Jessica Brown, 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), after navigating the orange cones. “It was hard.”

“Even if you get through it without crashing, you’re still adjusting your speed — going faster and slower — and that’s what you’re doing on the road,” said Capt. Steve Walter, 71st EOD.

Next to the drunk goggle course, Staff Sgt.

Ray Foster viewed a smashed sedan, which was involved in a drunken driving incident in 2010.

“It happens,” he said. “It sucks. It’s sad. And it can happen on wet, slippery roads by going too fast. It’s that time of year.”

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