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