Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) will observe Summer Safety Day on May 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is part of the 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign, which runs annually between Memorial Day weekend, beginning May 25, through Labor Day weekend, ending Sept. 4.
During the 101 Critical Days of Summer, vehicle and recreational accidents typically spike due to increased outdoor activities, explained Sean P. O’Reilly, occupational safety and health specialist at WRNMMC. Jim Ganz, NSAB safety officer, added the Summer Safety Day will focus on the theme, “Work, Play, Live Safe!” The event will include a number of presentations concerning safety at work and at play, to be held in the Bldg. 10’s Laurel Clark Memorial Auditorium and Bldg. 2’s Memorial Auditorium.
Steve Verret, a stand-up comedian who is also an expert in traffic safety, will perform throughout the day in Memorial Auditorium. Verret, an instructor for the Improv Comedy Club Traffic School in San Diego, Calif., has performed at the Improv and on HBO’s “Evening at the Improv.” He is scheduled to perform at 9 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. May 30 in Memorial Auditorium at Walter Reed Bethesda.
Presentations in Clark Auditorium on May 30 begin at 8 a.m. with a presentation by Cape Fox Traffic Safety Partner, followed by WRNMMC Preventive Medicine staff addressing heat stress at 9 a.m. At 10 a.m., WRNMMC/NSAB Emergency Management personnel will conduct Code White (Active Shooter) training, and at 11 a.m. NSAB Fire Department will have fire extinguisher training. Preventive Medicine will conduct another heat stress presentation at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m. NSA Bethesda Safety Office will conclude the Clark Auditorium lectures with a presentation on Summer Safety.
In Memorial Auditorium on May 30, police from Montgomery County will have a presentation at 8 a.m., followed by Steve Verret at 9 a.m. NSAB Fire Department officials discuss fire hazards at 10 a.m., and Verret performs again at noon. WRNMMC/NSAB Emergency Management staff speaks about personal preparedness at 1 p.m., followed by Verret’s last performance of the day at 2 p.m.
The Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club and Washington Redskins Cheerleaders are also scheduled to attend Summer Safety Day at Walter Reed Bethesda. The Redskin Cheerleaders are slated to lead callisthenic training from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Bldg. 9 mezzanine center.
Ganz said crash vehicles will also be set up at base gates for driver awareness and to show people the consequences of drinking and driving, as well as distracted driving (texting, speaking on the cell phone, eating, drinking, etc.)
“The 101 Critical Days of Summer covers anything to do with summer recreation, whether you’re dealing with the heat and humidity, barbecues, fireworks, swimming, boating, water skiing, and anything else that’s an outdoor activity concerning safety issues, among other things,” O’Reilly said. In addition to Summer Safety Day, Ganz said there will be continuous attention given to safety issues throughout the summer.
“We understand everyone can’t go to all the training and presentations all day on Summer Safety Day, but if some people from a clinic can go to certain events, they can take back what they learn and share it with others in their areas,” O’Reilly said.
He added rosters will be available at the event so those who participate can sign in and get credit for their safety training, which will be logged into ESAMS (Enterprise Safety Applications Management System) implemented at Walter Reed Bethesda. ESAMS is the system of record selected by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) to collect and track safety training, safety inspections and mishap information.
Regarding the Critical Days of Summer, the Naval Safety Center, reports that between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2011, 16 Sailors and 15 Marines lost their lives. One died in an ATV wreck, three drowned, three died during other recreational activities, 11 died in cars and trucks, and 13 died on motorcycles. Motorcycle fatalities increased from six in 2010 to 13 in 2011 more than a 100 percent increase.
According to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/ Safety Center, off-duty fatalities during the months between April and September have risen nearly 20 percent during the past three fiscal years.
The Air Force Safety Center reports that between 2002 and 2011, the Air Force experienced 218 fatalities during the Critical Days of Summer (201 off duty and 17 on duty). Service members are encouraged to access TRiPS (Travel Risk Planning System) through their respective service’s Knowledge Online website before hitting the roads for travel this summer. The online program helps service members recognize and reduce travel risks.
For more information about safety, go to the websites for the Naval Safety Center (http://safetycenter.navy.mil/), Air Force Safety Center (http://www.afsec.af.mil/), or the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center (https://safety.a rmy.mil/).
For more information about Summer Safety Day on May 30 at Walter Reed Bethesda, call Sean P. O’Reilly at (301) 295-6634 or Jim Ganz at james.ganzmed.navy.mil.