Fort McCoy News Oct. 23, 2015

Installation community gathers for Safety Day

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Dozens of community members made their way to building 905 to participate in Fort McCoy Safety Day Oct. 7.

Many on- and off-post agencies participated and presented information about numerous safety topics, including bow-hunting safety; all-terrain vehicle and snowmobile safety; unexploded-ordnance safety; highway and driving safety; yoga, physical, and spiritual health; ergonomic office equipment and chairs; gun safety; identification of poisonous plants; and more.

Photo 1
As part of the Fort McCoy Safety Day, installation community members participate in a simulated impaired driving course coordinated by the Army Substance Abuse Program. The course involves operating a go-cart at a
slow speed through a pre-established course. While driving, the driver experiences effects on steering and braking that would be similar to
someone who was driving while impaired by alcohol.

The event also featured various static displays and demonstrations, including a MedLink helicopter, the Directorate of Emergency Services Fire Department smoke house and vehicles, and a go-cart that simulates what it's like when people drive a vehicle when impaired by alcohol consumption.

Installation Safety Office Manager Randy Eddy, whose office organized Safety Day, said the event is important for the entire community.

"We hold a Safety Day so that we can provide a variety of different safety topics to provide to people to enhance their safety posture," Eddy said.

"It's important to keep people in the safety mindset. It helps to remind people to not become complacent with safety. The event serves as that nice, friendly reminder."

The event was planned to coincide with Fort McCoy's observance of National Fire Prevention Week, which was Oct. 4-10.

"Combining our efforts helps the fire department get all of their equipment here and promote fire prevention and safety and saves us both from having to do a separate event," Eddy said.

Tech. Sgt. Erich Sanford, an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th EOD Flight at Madison, Wis., managed a display that highlighted unexploded ordnance (UXO) safety. A fellow unit member watched over an explosives and ammunition amnesty drop-off point on the installation's South Post; no items were turned in.

"(For our display), we had our robot out and our bomb suit on hand for people to see," Sanford said. "These are things we use if we have to get close to an (explosive) device in a potentially dangerous situation, so it helps people to see our tools of the trade. We also have various types of inert improvised explosive devices on display."

Photo 2
A visitor stops at the Army Community Service information area in
building 905.



Photo 3
Safety Day visitors view a MedLink helicopter on static display.

Sanford added that it's important for people to remember safety around UXOs at Fort McCoy.

"With McCoy having been an active installation for so long, remember … there could be unexploded ordnance out there," Sanford said.

"They are dangerous, and knowledge about them is very important. My best piece of advice to anyone is if you are out in the woods and you see a device there and you didn't put it there, don't touch it, and report it immediately."

Eddy said the ideas about safety presented at each area helped emphasize safety at both work and home.

"A majority of accidents happen at home," Eddy said. "People are usually pretty good about safety at work, but when they get home, sometimes they let their guard down on safety. At the event, we had many areas showing the importance of safety at home as well as at work.

"We also made sure we had information available that is seasonally important, especially for winter safety," Eddy said. "For example, we want people to know proper ways to prevent slips and falls, and how to get your vehicle properly prepared for winter."

Brittney Davids, a military pay technician with the U.S. Army Reserve Pay Center, said she appreciated the information available during Safety Day.

"It's good to have exposure like this to learn good safety practices, both for in the workplace and at home."

For more information about safety at Fort McCoy, visit the ISO in building 1678, or call
608-388-3403.