Annual ‘101 CDS’ gets underway this weekend

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Micah Hewett
  • 341st Missile Wing Safety Office
The "101 Critical Days of Summer" campaign starts Monday and ends on Sept. 7. The summer months from Memorial Day through Labor Day present higher than normal risks for off-duty mishaps. It's a time when we also experience fatalities at a much higher rate than other times of the year.

This time of year brings us great joy as we plan summer activities, vacations and trips. Unfortunately, there is nothing more devastating or tragic than for a family member, friend or co-worker to fall victim to a deadly accident.

Last year, the Air Force lost 17 valuable members during this period. Many of them would be alive today but for a poor decision which was acted upon. Most of these tragic events, if not all of them, were clearly preventable in some way.

Preventable mishaps include those mishaps where someone made a conscious decision to operate a vehicle while knowing they've been drinking. The Air Force has had its successes and failures over the years during the "101 Critical Days of Summer" period. Many of the successes occurred when an effective plan was in place and goals were established. Goals in mishap prevention are important in that they give us something to reach for. For 2009, the goal is ZERO mishaps.

Practicing good risk management, making sound decisions and being an active Wingman on and off the job are methods we can use to reduce the inherent risks during this time period. Everyone should know who the number one safety person in their life is. The answer should be "you." If it isn't, then maybe you should take a look at your priorities. Safety must begin and end with you. You are in a position to correct your behaviors and make sound decisions at all times, regardless of whether a Wingman is with you or not.

All of us can enjoy a successful "101 Critical Days of Summer" by taking the proper precautions and taking an active role. Our chances are significantly improved if we take care of one another by being effective Wingmen. Watch out for your friends, family and co-workers by reminding them to wear protective equipment, slow down, be vigilant for signs of heat exhaustion, fatigue, and dehydration, and just to be safe in general.

If everyone makes good decisions and makes safety a way of life, we will survive this potentially deadly time of year unscathed.