NEWS | May 29, 2013

Critical Days of Summer: common sense and planning ahead

By Dwayne Powell JB Charleston Ground Safety manager

Each year, the Department of Defense conducts the "Critical Days of Summer" safety campaign.

The Memorial Day weekend we just celebrated, marked the official start of this year's campaign with the theme: "Safe-n-Sound, All Year Round." Although the critical days of summer only runs until September 3rd, this year's theme shows you are valued every day of the year. The campaign is all about preservation of our most valuable asset - our people. Each member of Joint Base Charleston is part of our extended family and each has a critical role to play in their unit's mission. Each person is invaluable to the DOD's continuing success.

Our message today is directed towards our off-duty activities, which directly impact our mission if you are injured, disabled or killed. Historically, our nation's highways and waterways pose an equal or greater threat to us than any enemy we face. Consequently, the days between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays are the "high threat" portion of the year.

Many mishaps are the result of poor risk management and faulty judgment. A classic example is trying to cram too much activity into too little time, coupled with long-distance driving on the three-day weekend. Ultimately, your goal is to come back to work rested and refreshed; not worn out and tired by an overly ambitious, three-day weekend itinerary that included too much driving.

During the summer, take advantage of the activities in and around our local area and enjoy your off-duty time with family and friends, but mitigate risk by employing sound risk management skills as you plan your activities. Ask yourself; I have the right training, ... the right equipment, ... and most importantly, should I be conducting this activity after having consumed alcohol? Your commitment to safety and your pledge of accountability to each other will ensure JB Charleston makes it through the summer without incident.

Enjoy your summer, but please make each day safe for you and your family and remember the theme, Safe-n-Sound, All Year Round.