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As temps rise, so can the safety risks

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Maybe, just maybe, we are breaking free of one of the coldest Florida winters in recent memory and are on the upswing toward warmer weather.

I sure hope so; there's a reason to be living in Florida.

But as the mercury slowly rises, so too can the safety risks, especially as we hit the famous Spring Fever season of the Space Coast.

In our business, we are meticulous in the way we go about doing things. We have a plan, a blueprint for success, and we stick with it. It's a time-proven path.

That's the same methodology each of us should use when it comes to off-duty time, especially when it comes in, on or around the water.

Let's get this safety message out right up front. Alcohol and water activities do not mix. Period. Please take heed and never be fearful to share the message with others.

We all must be aware of our surroundings - and limitations.

Just a few years ago, an Airman from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, was visiting a friend in the area and was jet-skiing. He lost track of where he was, jumped off the machine and stepped into a 12-foot sink hole in the ocean. And drowned.

Just like that, a literal snap of the fingers, and one of our comrades was gone. Not a single shot was fired, yet we lost one of our own.

It's incidents like this that shake us. Safety is important, it's critical we give safety the time and thought it deserves. Let's never again wait for another catastrophic accident to shake us back to our safety-conscious senses.

Another thing; statistics show that St. Patrick's Day is one of the most dangerous in terms of getting arrested for DUI. Be smart. If you plan on going out, arrange to have a very responsible designated driver.

Our Airman Against Drunk Driving Program will be increasing their number of drivers next Wednesday night. Call 494-RIDE if you need to.

As always, have fun, be smart and be safe. Let's make sure this is not your last safety briefing. We thank each of you for your service.