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Safety office wraps up Critical Days of Summer

By Airman 1st Class Lincoln Korver | Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Sept. 12, 2012

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — As the Critical Days of Summer come to an end, it is important to look back and see what actions were proven to be successful in maintaining the safety of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph personnel and which initiatives need to be revised in order to have an even more fun summer next year, while staying out of harm's way.

The CDOS campaign was in full effect starting the Friday before Memorial Day and went through Labor Day to support smart decision making to ensure everyone on Randolph has a safe summer, Linda Howlett, Randolph ground safety manager, said.

"CDOS started back in the 1980s, when the Air Force identified this as a time where we sustained a lot of fatal mishaps due to off-duty accidents," she said. "Our biggest threat is motorcycle and four-wheeled personal motor vehicle accidents. Because of this, the Air Force Safety Center gave us weekly topics for us to promote and disperse through the units."

Other topics focused on at Randolph during CDOS included water safety, barbecue safety, summer recreation safety, heat stress awareness and drunk driving avoidance.

The areas that were focused on during the summer were chosen by their popularity in hopes to reach out to most people, Howlett said. If a specific topic wasn't touched on, that doesn't mean it's not important; rather, the goal of CDOS is to educate people on potentially dangerous activities that most people take part in.

During the 2010 season, there were 16 fatalities in the Air Force; in 2011, there were 18; and this year, during the 15 weeks of CDOS, 16 Airmen lost their lives.

Not only is the safety of Randolph's personnel important, but everyone's health as well, which is why CDOS has been implemented Air Force-wide, both within the United States and overseas, she said.

"Supervisors are our first line of defense in making sure the Airmen get safety information," Tony Lightner, Randolph safety specialist, said. "Our office is here to support that, but supervisors and commanders are the ones who should be looking their Airmen in the eyes, making sure they know how to stay safe."

Although this summer is coming to a close, there are many more to come in the future.

"The sad thing is that the way Airmen are losing their lives are for the same reasons every time," Howlett said. "The only things changing are the names and faces of fatalities. That's why it's important for people to always keep safety and CDOS in mind when they go out and have fun. We stress safety so much in the workplace, but it's just as important to focus on safety outside of work too."