Fort Riley hosts safety campaign

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner (left) operates machinery to simulate a car crash during Fort Riley's safety event Wednesday.

Fort Riley is hosting a three-day safety campaign for military families, retirees and civilians this week. 

Activities take place on numerous locations on post. Kirk Hutchinson, the public affairs specialist for Fort Riley, described the event as a three-day event focused on increasing safety awareness for soldiers, family members, civilian employees and community neighbors. 

“Topics include vehicle safety, fire safety, weather safety, water and swimming safety, and much more,” Hutchinson said. 

The overarching safety event incorporated Fort Riley and several of its surrounding community members. Each day of the event features a different focus or set of focuses that target different individuals who have an affiliation to Fort Riley. Traditionally, the event was held on one day, but the hosts of the event claimed to find success in splitting the event into multiple days. Prior to the extension of the event, soldiers, family members and civilian workers on post were intertwined in the event. But, according to Dawn Douglas, director of the Garrison Safety Office, Fort Riley was authorized to partner with the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office, which received a grant that permitted the base to hold a three-day event. By extending the event, the Garrison Safety was Office was able to give each day a different set of scenarios to focus on, and each day catered to a different group of people. 

Tuesday, the first day of the event, catered to families. Wednesday, the second day, centered on soldiers. Thursday will center on civilian employees on post. 

“In this community, there are a lot of different players,” Douglas said. “Normally we have a soldier who is married to someone who is not in the military. So they are a part of that community, then we will have DA civilians who may or may not be married to a service member, or they are retired, so we wanted to hit all of those various communities.” 

Booths were set up for Wednesday’s event, giving attendees information on how to safely react to natural disasters such as flooding and tornadoes. One booth exhibited an example emergency kit, which was equipped with water, nonperishable snacks, cash, batteries, a lantern, spare shoes, clothing, a first-aid kit and a helmet to protect wearers from flying debris during a tornado.

Thursday’s event will be held at the Irwin Army Community Hospital, and will focus on child car seat safety, as well as civilian employee safety.

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