Health & Safety

October 26, 2012

Security Forces Pumpkin Patrol plans for Halloween Safety

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. William O’ Brien, 99th Security Forces Squadron, directs traffic at a crosswalk for families trick or treating in base housing, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The 99th SFS participates in Pumpkin Patrol, in which SFS Airmen patrol Nellis base housing to ensure families stay safe.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — This Halloween the 99th Security Forces Squadron is taking care to ensure safety for trick-or-treaters and the base populace.

During the holiday season many families participate in trick-or-treating, a tradition where children dress up in a costume and go door-to-door gathering candy.

The potential for danger during trick-or-treating is high because there is an increased number of pedestrians and vehicles on the road. That’s why the 99th SFS is enlisting the aid of the Pumpkin Patrol.

“The 99th SFS and about 25 volunteers from other units will effectively provide a safe and secure operating environment for the Nellis AFB community through expanded foot patrols of the Nellis Landings and Terrace housing,” said Tech. Sgt. Jared Johnson, 99th SFS NCO in charge of police services. “These foot patrols are in addition to the normal police force on duty. These Pumpkin Patrols will be assigned a specific zone to patrol and will sound the alarm for any emergency or criminal activity. Their primary objective is child safety.”

One of the largest dangers for trick-or-treaters is vehicle collision incidents.

“Children — use the sidewalks and crosswalks as much as possible. Look both ways before crossing,” Johnson said.

Parents are also recommended to equip their trick-or-treaters with reflective wear and flashlights.

“We always encourage parents to participate in their children’s trick-or-treating, but at least ensure the children’s costumes are functional and have some kind of reflective tape or flashlight,” Johnson said.

Functional costumes don’t restrict any of the wearers’ senses, particularly vision and hearing and ensure the user can walk properly without tripping over the garment.

“Make sure your trick-or-treater can see clearly while wearing their costume and they’re not just looking through tiny holes causing them to lose their peripheral vision,” Johnson said.

Those going out this holiday can help increase safety for trick-or-treaters as well by carpooling or walking to their destination.

“Vehicle person collisions are the biggest concern during this holiday,” Johnson said. “The less cars on the road the better. So, if you can avoid the housing area while driving or lower your speed even more than the posted 15 mph, that would be best. If necessary, utilize lights and caution. Drive with windows down to enhance auditory capabilities, and don’t just look for kids, listen for them as well. Drive slowly and reduce in-vehicle distractions. You should have the expectation that children will cross in front of your vehicle so you will be ready to react if it happens.”

Those wishing to join the pumpkin patrol have until close of business today. Email Johnson at Jared.johnson1@nellis.af.mil or call 652-6413.




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