Memorial Day commemorates those who have died serving this great Nation and traditionally marks the beginning of the summer season. Holiday celebrations often center around family members, outdoor activities and the use of alcohol. Letâ€™s celebrate responsibly and use risk management to mitigate potential hazards. As we approach the summer months, I want to focus on three critical areas â€” vehicle and motorcycle riding, heat injuries and water activities.
Lessons learned from fatalities associated with past driving accidents, whether sedan, sport utility vehicle, truck or motorcycle need to be shared so we do not repeat the same mistakes. Make certain casual factors are identified so prevention efforts focus on why the accident occurred and not simply how it occurred. Leaders must determine how to effectively share these lessons learned with their Soldiers. Look for innovative ways to engage Soldiers, family members and your first-line leaders and supervisors.
Heat-related injuries are an inevitable risk throughout summer training. Past experience shows we know how to train Soldiers during the hot and humid summer surge environment. We can mitigate the dangerous effects of heat by following established standards, managing risk, monitoring the cumulative effects of heat and taking swift action to reduce internal body temperature when a Soldier exhibits signs of heat stress.
The majority of water-related accidents occur after duty hour during family recreational activities. The best means to prevent drowning is through education of Soldiers and family members. Social media, community newspapers and spouse clubs can provide excellent venues to enlist family members in our efforts to raise awareness and avoid accidental losses this summer. The hazards may vary from locale to locale, but prevention strategies should remain consistent.
Do not swim unless there is a life guard present. Do not overindulge in food or alcohol, and do not become overconfident or complacent. Remember, complacency kills. Whether you are swimming in a backyard pool, a lake, river, or at the oceanfront, water can be an unforgiving environment.
Safety Starts Here! Victory Starts Here!