[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                         June 13, 2008
Safety

Installation offers day of free 
inspections, demonstrations

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

      A Safety Day at Fort McCoy May 22 helped the installation kick off the 101 Critical Days of Summer safety campaign.

Photo: Personnel participate in a Beginners Motorcycle Class during Safety Day activities at Fort McCoy May 22. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Personnel participate in a Beginners Motorcycle Class during Safety Day activities at Fort McCoy May 22. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Deb Heise-Clark, a safety specialist with the Installation Safety Office (ISO), said the day's activities focused on vehicle safety demonstrations and inspections and child car-safety seat inspections.

      "These are among the key safety points of the summer season," Heise-Clark said. "Children are out of school, so people are traveling. People are going to weddings or reunions, taking vacations, or are involved in recreational activities, visiting families or if they are transferring or getting a new job they may be moving."

      Motor-vehicle accidents remain the No. 1 factor of fatalities within the Department of Defense.    Heise-Clark said Army personnel planning to travel are required to and civilians are highly encouraged to complete the Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS), which is located on the Combat Readiness and Safety Center Web site to help prevent traffic accidents.

      The Ride Safe Inc., headquartered in Onalaska, presented a Beginners Motorcycle Riders Course.

Photo: John Legault demonstrates how the rollover convincer works at the Fort McCoy Safety Day. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
John Legault demonstrates how the rollover convincer works at the Fort McCoy Safety Day. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Les Mlsna of Ride Safe Inc., said the organization offers motorcycle riders safety classes -- beginners and experienced -- to military and civilian Department of Defense personnel at Fort McCoy at no charge and to civilians in Onalaska.

      "Many people have been buying motorcycles because of the high price of gas," Mlsna said. "People who buy them often need training."

      The courses teach motorcycle riders the basics of braking, weaving and swerving to safely ride in traffic. Mlsna said the training is held in a parking lot at Fort McCoy where personnel can practice maneuvering the motorcycles around safety cones.

      "This is a good idea for anyone who has just bought a motorcycle or is beginning to ride again after the winter ends," Mlsna said. "It's good to practice and perfect motorcycle handling techniques in a parking lot or somewhere there isn't a lot of traffic before riding in heavy traffic."

      John Legault of the Bureau of Traffic Safety of the Wisconsin State Patrol and a retired state trooper showed personnel a rollover convincer. The equipment showed observers the effects of a 30 mph rollover on vehicle occupants wearing seat belts and not wearing seat belts.

Photo: Sgt. Mark Nohr (left) and Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Olson of MATES conduct a vehicle inspection at the Auto Craft Shop. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Sgt. Mark Nohr (left) and Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Olson of MATES conduct a vehicle inspection at the Auto Craft Shop. 
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Personnel not wearing seat belts were thrown through the sunroof and hit the pavement hard. Legault takes the exhibit all around the state for display at various events.

      "I've seen many accidents that looked like this in my time in the State Patrol," Legault said. "People wearing seat belts usually survive crashes, while those who don't wind up injured -- often critically -- or dead. You always want to play the percentages."

      Legault also gives personnel pamphlets about the child car-safety seat laws.

      Karen Jankowski, a child passenger safety instructor for the National Safe Kids organization, said parents, guardians or other adults often have difficulty getting their children properly seated in a vehicle because the child car-safety seats are not attached securely, the child is fastened too loosely into the seats or the seats are too old.

      Randy Crook, a certified child car-safety seat inspector who works as a police officer for the Fort McCoy Police Department, said the first time the installation held a car safety seat inspection 100 percent of those taking it failed. At an April 30 event, 73 percent failed so there was some progress being made.

      Each of the police shifts at Fort McCoy has an officer certified in child car-safety seat inspections so personnel can arrange to have a one-on-one check done at Fort McCoy, he said. For more information, call the Public Safety Center at (608) 388-2266.

      Heise-Clark said vehicle inspections also were offered at the Auto Craft Shop during the event by Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site personnel.

      More safety information is available by calling the ISO at (608) 388-3403, visiting the Fort McCoy Extranet site and selecting safety or going to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness and Safety Center at the Web site https://crc.army.mil.

 

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