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NEWS | Aug. 31, 2016

JBSA members urged to celebrate Labor Day safely

Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

When Labor Day weekend starts Friday, Joint Base San Antonio active-duty members, families and civilians are certain to take advantage of the last holiday of the summer by participating in recreational activities and traveling.

Besides providing an opportunity for JBSA members to relax and have fun, the Labor Day weekend – Sept. 2-5 – also concludes the Air Force Summer Safety Campaign, which focused on safety awareness during the summer months and began during the Memorial Day weekend in May.

Having a safe Labor Day weekend includes taking several precautions that can prevent mishaps, accidents or fatalities from occurring, said Travis Kilpack, 502nd Air Base Wing Safety Office occupational safety manager at JBSA-Lackland.

“The best way to alleviate mishaps is to plan your adventures,” Kilpack said. “Take the time to plan and prepare for the activity.”

Kilpack said common mishaps and accidents which occur to individuals and families during the Labor Day weekend are from sports and recreational activities. He said JBSA members should be careful not to overdo it when it comes to participating in those activities.

When taking a trip to the beach or the lake, Kilpack said swimmers should bring sunscreen and personal flotation devices and wear protective clothing. Also, JBSA members should watch out for each other.

“Don’t be afraid to stop friends and family from getting in over their head,” Kilpack said. “While most of us think about taking someone’s keys if they have been drinking too much, or not allowing someone to drive a boat or fly a plane while drinking, sometimes we hesitate to stop someone from doing something foolish and unsafe when it’s not obvious.”

Safety tips from the American Red Cross on water safety include never swimming alone, swimming in supervised areas, entering feet first in water and never using alcohol while swimming or boating.

Before taking a trip, travelers should check their vehicle to make sure it is working properly and to get it serviced, Kilpack said.

Check the weather before leaving on a trip because it is can be different in other areas, Kilpack said.

Also, motorists should be on the lookout for drunk drivers. In 2014, 40 percent of vehicle crash deaths during Labor Day weekend involved drunk drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NHTSA and law enforcement officials are teaming up this year to crackdown on drunken drivers. “The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign started Aug. 19 and runs through the Labor Day weekend to Monday. The purpose of the law enforcement campaign is to have zero tolerance by bringing awareness to the dangers of drunk driving, increasing the number of officers on the road and setting up checkpoints.

Kilpack said JBSA members who need a ride after having a drink can call JBSA-Armed Forces Against Drunk Driving at 710-7171 or RUI Designated Drivers at 322-5473. JBSA-AFADD is a group of active-duty members and volunteers from all three JBSA locations who provide rides to service members, Department of Defense civilian employees and military dependents on Friday and Saturday.

In addition, Kilpack said JBSA members can call a cab or ride-sharing service if they have been drinking.

Also, JBSA members should tell their family and friends about their travel plans, including trip dates and locations of where they will be staying, according to the American Red Cross. Travelers should provide contact numbers to family or friends in case of an emergency.

For those JBSA members who plan to stay home and work around the home, Kilpack said there are several precautions they can take to do their projects safely.

“Use the proper tools, make sure your tools and equipment are serviceable and use proper safety equipment such as eye protection, hearing protection and gloves,” he said.

Active-duty members can take the TRIPS, or Travel Risk Planning System, online survey at https://trips.safety.army.mil. The survey helps service members recognize and reduce travel risks.