Safety - it's personal

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Thomas S. Shields
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Safety chief
The Memorial Day holiday weekend holds many different meanings.

For some, it is a time to visit cemeteries and national memorials to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. For others, it means huddling around the TV to watch the Indianapolis 500 or Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR race. For many, it means patriotic parades on main street, backyard barbecues, pool parties and family vacations.

For all Airmen across the Air Force, Memorial Day also heralds the beginning of the Critical Days of Summer.

The Critical Days of Summer campaign officially runs from May 25 to Sept. 3, 2012.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends this year, I encourage each and every Airman at McConnell to sharpen their focus on safety. The theme of this year's Critical Days of Summer campaign is, "Safety - It's Personal."

The summer months are typically chock-full of sunny weather, good times and fond memories. However, summer's recreational activities also bring with them the greatest risk of personal injury.

Think about how you would react to the following questions:
What if your co-worker is killed in a motor vehicle wreck because they did not use a seat belt? What if your good friend drowns in a boating accident because they neglected to wear a floatation device? What if a family member loses a limb while recklessly handling fireworks?

My guess is you would take this personally and perhaps even change your own opinions about personal safety.

My advice, don't wait for a tragic mishap to change your mind. Take it personally now. Correct an unsafe situation before it becomes a mishap. If you see something wrong, fix it. Make safety personal this summer.

The recipe for a safe 2012 summer is as follows. If you drink, have a plan. If you do drink, do not drink and drive - ever. Know your limits and stay within them. Do not mix motor vehicles with high speed, fatigue or texting. Have fun and be a good Wingman.

Stay safe McConnell!