AF kicks off Critical Days of Summer campaign

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Safety officials at Robins are hoping for the same results with the 101 Critical Days of Summer Campaign this year as it had in 2008.

The Air Force campaign, which has the theme "We're Saving Lives This Summer," is aimed at preventing off-duty accidents of base employees during the Memorial Day weekend, starting Friday, to Sept. 8. During the period last year there were 16 fatalities Air Force-wide, but Robins had none.

John Ainsworth of the 78th Air Base Wing Safety Office, said the summer is an emphasis because it's a time when more accidents tend to happen.

"You get a lot of people out and about and traveling during that time," he said. "There's a lot of swimming and a lot of dangers out there that can affect people."

A focus this year is traffic safety, with a particular emphasis on motorcycle safety, as more people are riding motorcycles to save on gas. Most of the Air Force-wide fatalities last year were the result of traffic accidents. Three of those involved automobiles, five were motorcycles and three were pedestrians.

So far this year, the Air Force has already lost 27 people in off-duty mishaps. Of those, 23 were automobile or motorcycle mishaps, with 17 being single vehicle crashes where the operator lost control of the vehicle.

"We're setting a mishap pace we definitely don't want to sustain," said Col. Warren Berry, 78th Air Base Wing commander.

According to the Air Force Safety Campaign, key factors in the fatalities involved lack of seatbelt use and speeding. Alcohol was a factor in one.

"Obviously, it's the concrete jungle out there that's getting us," Mr. Ainsworth said.

He said the motorcycle safety campaign isn't just targeted at motorcyclists. Through it's See Me, Save Me campaign, the base is also encouraging all motorists to be on the lookout of motorcycles when changing lanes or maneuvering through traffic.

He said the 101 Critical Days of Summer Campaign incorporates many of the principles of the Voluntary Protection Program at Robins, which seeks to improve safety for employees not just when they are at work but when they are off duty also.

Mr. Ainsworth, an occupational safety specialist in the Safety Office, said the office is available upon request to conduct briefings for units, such as during Wingman Day events.