Labor Day - take a safe, well deserved break

  • Published
  • By Col. Chris Nowland
  • 71st Flying Training Wing commander
Labor Day weekend marks the end of the Sane Summer safety campaign, a period historically associated with increased mishaps. Over this Labor Day weekend take a well deserved break, recharge and have fun playing with your kids, family and friends. 

However, Labor Day weekend can be one of the deadliest times of the year. A lot of people try to squeeze many last minute summer activities into one short weekend without fully vetting the risk. 

So prior to the Labor Day weekend, I challenge all commanders and supervisors to reinforce the importance of safety with all Airmen. Talk to your people about their activities and review safety practices. Ask the important who, what, when, where and how questions as it relates to their weekend plans and help them if you feel they haven't covered all the bases. 

As Airmen, we must always remain vigilant and recognize the primary threats haven't changed -- failure to use safety equipment like seatbelts and motorcycle helmets, driving while impaired or fatigued, and speeding. 

I challenge all of Team Vance to exercise appropriate safety measures -- they are only a decision away. Buckle-up, gear-up and adjust your driving and riding to changing conditions and your abilities. 

Finally, if you decide to drink, assign a designated driver or use mitigating measures like taxis or calling a Wingman. 

Looking ahead, the fall season is quickly approaching. New risks such as changing weather, reduced hours of visibility and schools returning to session will require our increased awareness. 

Even though the summertime threats begin to fade as we transition into fall, the number one threat remains the same -- vehicle accidents. All of us must continue to be vigilant regardless of the time of year. 

On behalf of all the leadership here at Vance, we value your service and sacrifice. I am proud to serve alongside every one of you. Be safe over the long weekend. Rest up and come back to work refreshed.