Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Soldiers stand down for safety

(U.S. Army photo/DJ Montoya)
Spc. Lavarris Canadate, 1st Space Battalion, tries his skills at using a fire extinguisher during the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Safety Stand Down Day/Safety Exposition May 22 at the command’s Peterson headquarters.

By DJ Montoya

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command units in the Colorado Springs area conducted a 2013 Safety Stand-Down Day/Safety Exposition May 22 at the command’s headquarters here.

The day’s event started off with a formation of troops at 9 a.m. in front of a small gazebo as SMDC Soldiers, civilians, contractors and family members listened to opening remarks from Col. Gregory Bowen, deputy commander for support, SMDC.

“What we do in the Army is inherently dangerous business,” said Bowen. “People get hurt every day. People die every day. But a lot of those things are preventable. They are caused by accidents. They are cause by carelessness. They are caused by people just not paying attention. Safety is everybody’s business,” he said.

“I can tell you from personal experience I have lost a Soldier to an accident,” Bowen continued. “Being a commander and having to deal with a loss of one of your Soldiers is horrible. That got my attention and that will stick with me for all my days. So I take safety seriously. As you go around here today, take a hard look at what these good folks have to show you.”

After his remarks, SMDC personnel were encouraged to visit all the booths while Soldiers were instructed to sign in at the first station. The Soldiers then broke up into individual units spending 20 minutes at each station getting briefed by subject matter experts.

According to Cedric Pelt, safety manager of the SMDC Safety Office in Colorado Springs, 22 vendors from the surrounding community took part in the day’s event.

“There were four command safety training presentations given by Soldiers from the 1st Space Brigade and 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defenses), which covered heat exhaustion, personal gun safety, motorcycle safety and child and adult seatbelt safety,” said Pelt. These command safety training courses were in addition to the vendors.”

Some of the vendors included Colorado Springs Heath Partners, Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado School of Fire Arms, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Medical Restoration Centers, 21st Space Wing Safety and Occupational Health Office, and PAFB Fire Emergency Services.

“The Safety Expo was a big success. We had excellent participation from all the command units within Colorado Springs — both our civilian and military personnel,” said Pelt. “It is estimated that 500 people came through the Safety Expo. This includes family members and others who visited from Air Force Space Command and NORAD/NORTHCOM (North American Aerospace Defense Command/U.S. Northern Command) next door.”

This year’s Spring-Summer Safety Campaign, run by the command’s Safety Office, began April 1 and goes through Sept. 30. It is designed to address seasonal hazards, both on and off duty, training everyone on the appropriate mitigation actions to reduce accident risk.

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