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Be safe over Labor Day weekend

by Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Kane
AMC acting vice commander

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Labor Day, the first Monday in September, was established to recognize the contributions of the American worker - the source of much of the nation's strength, prosperity, and leadership. Labor Day also marks the end of the 101 Critical Days of Summer Safety Campaign.

The extended Labor Day weekend affords our members and their families the opportunity to travel or participate in their favorite recreational activities.

This fiscal year, we have already lost 14 members in preventable mishaps; one drowning, one all-terrain vehicle, one pedestrian, and 11 motor vehicle mishaps. Safety reports reflect that Labor Day weekend is often marred by accidents, especially those involving private motor vehicles and summer-related sports.

It doesn't have to be that way!

Many off-duty mishaps are the result of poor risk decisions. Some decisions are made on the spur of the moment, with little or no thought of the risks or the consequences. Others are often the result of peer pressure - decisions made under duress, such as when friends ask or goad us into doing something we know is risky, yet we willingly do it. With luck we survive, learn from the experiences, and read about the ones who were not lucky.

The old adage "It's better to be lucky than dead" is not the attitude you want to rely on. Luck is fickle and a poor substitute for personal risk management.

Risk management is simply self preservation - recognizing the risks involved, making decisions based upon those risks to stay in control, and taking actions to ensure survival.

Before the Labor Day weekend, encourage your members to use risk management to help ensure their safety and the safety of friends and loved ones. Also, reinforce the wingman concept and remind your personnel to take care of their fellow Airmen.

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