Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Critical Days of Summer kicks-off summer of safety

By Lea Johnson

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — As the days get warmer and longer, Airmen and their families will be spending more time outside for summer activities.

To call attention to the risks that summertime activities pose to Airmen, the 21st Space Wing Safety Office is kicking off this year’s Critical Days of Summer Campaign.

Luis Harris, 21st Space Wing Safety Office ground safety manager, said the campaign will run from May 25 through Sept. 4. “This is when the Air Force member is out and about, doing (permanent change of station) moves, taking vacations, and we’re more vulnerable to having a mishap,” he said.

During the summer, Vince and Larry the crash test dummies will be seen around base to remind users about seatbelt usage and safe travel procedures, Harris said.

During the campaign the safety office will be conducting random seatbelt and cell phone checks for drivers on base. Different themed events, including two motorcycle safety courses, will be hosted on base and open to all base users.

“We want to emphasize that this information is not only geared toward the military member but also toward the family,” Harris said.

Unit safety representatives will have information about a variety of summer safety concerns including lawnmower safety, boating safety, hiking safety, and more, available for Airmen.

Driving, whether it be a two-wheel or four-wheel vehicle, historically is the number one cause of summer mishaps and fatalities, Harris said.

“Break your trips up into two days instead of trying to do it in one,” Harris said. “Make sure you’re well-rested and take frequent breaks.”

Since fiscal year 2002, the Air Force has had 218 fatalities during the Critical Days of Summer campaign. The last fatality to happen within the 21st Space Wing during the campaign was a vehicle accident in 2008.

“For the past three years, our wing enjoyed a safe and happy summer with no lives lost,” said Col. Chris Crawford, 21st SW commander. “I am truly proud to lead personnel who take safety so seriously, and I ask you all to continue to look out for your wingman and enjoy the summer in a responsible manner.”

“Our goal in the wing is to have zero mishaps,” Harris said. “Even under perfect circumstances, things can happen, but we want all our Airmen to have knowledge to decrease the risk of a mishap happening to them.”

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