51st LRS helps reduce PACAF safety incidents
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron won Osan Air Base's Critical Days of Summer Challenge, a campaign that led to zero fatalities during the summer months here.
In an effort to increase awareness about staying safe between Labor Day and Memorial Day, the 51st Fighter Wing Safety office challenged the base to a competition to get involved and find ways to reduce mishaps.
It's common knowledge that people travel to enjoy outdoor activities during the summer months, but less known is how accidents also spike across the Air Force during this time, Carpenter said. The Osan Safety office challenged the base to raise awareness by developing a point-based competition to get units involved. The campaign worked - as Pacific Air Forces saw a 29 percent decrease in incidents for 2012.
"The challenge ran at the same time as the Critical Days of Summer," said Master Sgt. Jeremiah Carpenter, 51st Fighter Wing ground safety manager. "We wanted leaders to get involved, and it helped with espirit de corp while getting our message across to keep people safe."
The competition included developing commercials to run on the American Forces Network, bicycle and seatbelt safety compliance checks, collecting debris from the flight line, and developing awareness posters to put around base.
"Airmen from the 51st LRS scored more points than we've ever had in the past," Carpenter said. "They alone conducted more than 6,000 seatbelt checks, 300 bicycle checks and an 80-person FOD walk to name a few items."
Although the competition is officially over, safety around base has significantly changed, said Tech. Sgt. Chule Lee, 51st LRS quality assurance monitor.
"We saw some policy violations when we went out for our compliance checks," Lee said. "But we would bring our findings back to the safety office and then we started seeing the progression with how people are changing. It was satisfying to see that we were making a difference."
But for Lee, it was not just about winning the challenge.
"It feels like we made a change to people's lives and made this place more safe, he said.
"I couldn't be more proud of the sustained campaign that the entire 51st LRS invested into the wing safety challenge," said Maj. Ryan Bakazan, 51st LRS commander. "It was truly a team effort, from the squadron safety NCOs, to the flight safety NCOs, to every LRS member that elevated the importance of safety throughout the 101 Critical Days of Summer.
"There are a lot of high-risk activities that fall into our LRS mission set," he added. "As such, our campaign was not just focused on winning the challenge, but more importantly mitigating those risks to accomplish our mission without jeopardizing equipment and the health and safety of our Airmen."
The 51st FW commander designated the winner's of the challenge to carry a traveling trophy and provided them with a one-day pass.