Fort McCoy News November 14, 2014

Council discusses community safety issues

STORY & PHOTO BY GENEVE N. MANKEL
Public Affairs Staff

The Fort McCoy Safety and Occupational Health Advisory/Community Health Promotion Council discussed a variety of safety topics during its first meeting of fiscal year (FY) 2015 in late October.

The meeting brings together representatives from tenant and garrison organizations each quarter to discuss safety-related topics affecting the installation.

Photo for safety meeting article
Curt Ladwig, Fort McCoy fire inspector, explains the importance of ensuring smoke alarms are operational during the Fort McCoy Safety and Occupational Health Advisory/Community Health Promotion Council meeting Oct. 28.

Deb Heise-Clark, Installation Safety Office (ISO) safety specialist, facilitated the meeting. She informed the council of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center's new website format at https://safety.army.mil/. The website contains a lot of information grouped in an easier-to-navigate way, she said.

Personnel also can check out seasonal safety campaign materials on the site. Heise-Clark said the Army's new two-year safety campaign is "Ready … or Not?" It is designed to heighten awareness of risk factors by causing personnel to ask themselves one question, "Are you and/or your organization ready for what is about to happen?"

The campaign will include four seasonal mini-campaigns throughout the year — beginning with autumn. The mini-campaigns serve to raise awareness of the increased hazards associated with the different seasons, but also provide safety and information on accident-prevention issues that apply year-round, such as distracted driving and home safety.

Randy Eddy, ISO manager, presented garrison accident data. Over a four-year period from FY 2010 to 2014, the overall number of accidents among garrison personnel has declined. FY 2010 recorded 41 accidents and 12 in 2014. Injuries ranged from "trips, slips and falls," "overexertion," and "other."

Eddy said slips, trips and falls have declined, and concentrated efforts made to reduce such incidents may have contributed to the decrease. He also said working directly with range personnel has helped reduce overall rates of incidents in that area.

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott said any organization experiencing accident trends can seek help from the garrison to identify solutions.

Rick Jackson with the Fort McCoy Police Department said establishing targeted enforcement in areas of the installation has helped reduce speeding violations.

Nott said the targeted enforcement can be requested by any organization that has concerns of speeding violations in their area. Call the Police Department at 608-388-2266 for further information.

Don Vendor, ISO safety specialist, presented information on new ammunition amnesty box locations and described several accidents/incidents involving ammunition.

He said improper transportation of ammunition can cause accidents, such as an unintentional discharge of a training device that occurred inside of a vehicle. Personnel should take great care and precaution when handling any ammunition or explosive.

Other topics addressed:

Anyone crossing the railroad tracks on Quarry Hill Road, south of the Ammunition Supply Point, should remember to never cross the tracks when the lights are flashing. The crossing is a multi-track crossing that does not have gates. If a train has passed it is possible that a train is coming from the opposite direction. Only cross when the lights are not flashing.

The Fire Department reminds everyone to ensure the operability of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

The Rumpel Fitness Center will have an influx of youth in the area for swim team and swimming lessons. Watch for children in the area and parking lot.

Ensure snow-removal equipment is in good working condition, and that areas are prepared with ice melt.

To avoid extension cord fires, a good rule of thumb is if the cord is warm to the touch it is overloaded.

Nott concluded the meeting by encouraging personnel and their Families to attend events at the South Post Family Housing Area. Most events that are held there are not exclusively for residents. He said the area provides an extremely safe venue for Families to participate in events.

He also expressed his concern about personnel not rendering the proper salute during Reveille (6 a.m.) and Retreat (5 p.m.). Everyone on Fort McCoy must render the proper salute. Info about rendering the proper salute is available in the Fort McCoy Guide, viewable online at http://www.mccoy.army.mil/ReadingRoom/Newspaper/AreaGuide/Flag_Etiquette.html.

For more information about Fort McCoy safety, contact the ISO at 608-388-3403, or contact your organization's collateral/additional duty safety officer.

The next Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Council/Community Health Promotion Council meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 13.