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Base Exchange hosts Fall Safety Campaign

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Organizations came from all around to participate in the 2008 Fall Safety Campaign at the Base Exchange parking lot Nov. 13.

Representatives from the 30th Space Wing safety office, the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron's fire department, the 30th Security Forces Squadron and the California Highway Patrol all contributed time to make the event a success.

"The Fall Safety Campaign allowed us to provide people with as much preventative safety information as possible," said Mark Stortecky, an occupational safety and health specialist from the 30th SW safety office. "We cannot necessarily make people safer, but we can provide them with the resources to help guide them to make safe decisions. Everybody has to be responsible."

The 30th SFS and California Highway Patrol gave visitors advice on seat belts, cell phone laws and drinking and driving hazards. The fire department provided fire hazard information and specific upcoming holiday safety tips. The 30th SW safety office provided general safety information and offered people a chance to have their child seat inspected to make sure that it complies with the California State Law.

"Practicing safety is a part of the wingman concept," Stortecky said. "It is about looking out for your wingmen, families and community members and taking the extra step to take care of one another. This is one way we can avoid a lot of mishaps and injuries."

Safety measures are a vital part of the Air Force. People who disregard safety measures at work and away from work greatly impact the mission of the Air Force.

"People cannot be as productive when they are injured," Stortecky said. "Safety mishaps also end up incurring high expenses for Air Force on such things as medical bills and damaged equipment."

During a recent commander's call, the issue of driving while using cell phones was of concern. California law prohibits cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle without the use of a hands-free device. This action was taken to prevent further distractions that could potentially cause accidents.

"Team V is trying to cut back on occurrences on base by getting the word out and making sure that the law is enforced," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Holland, a policeman with the 30th SFS.

"We are pressing really hard on the issue," the Sergeant said. "As a safety issue and law we are cracking down on offenders to prevent people from swerving on the roads or not stopping for stop signs simply because they are focusing more on talking rather than on driving."

Members of Team V can protect themselves by continuing to make conscious efforts to make safe practices every day, Stortecky said.

"Practice all safety regulations at work. At home make sure that proper safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are present in case of an emergency. When driving, follow the rules of the road. Wear a seat belt, do not speed and make sure to have the proper child seating arrangements. Choose sports that do not exceed your capabilities and stretch often. In general, always keep an eye out for any type of hazards."