Safety de Mayo Party - 101 Critical Days of Summer
By Lt. Col. Lisa Berente, 151 ARW/SE
/ Published June 10, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- On April 22, the 151st Air Refueling Wing disguised the mandatory "101 Critical Days of Summer" campaign kickoff briefings as a "Safety de Mayo Party."
The cold, rainy weather dampened the planned outdoor activities, but nothing could dull the buzzing atmosphere inside the Salt Lake City's Aerospace dining facility. The fantastic food, salsa competition, excellent briefings and motivating safety giveaways were the perfect launch of this historically, and inherently risky season.
The purpose of the annual safety training was to prevent mishaps and save lives, as well as create a supportive environment of responsible and safe behavior for personnel during the highest risk period of the year, Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Col Kelvin Findlay, 151 ARW commander, specifically wanted both a memorable and festive atmosphere for this year's kickoff.
"Our folks have done a tremendous job this past year in regards to safe mission accomplishment," he said. "They deserve a fun summer with their family and friends. We want them to have fun this summer but be smart and safe."
Though not a member of Toast Masters International, ground safety guru, Master Sgt. John Crow, wowed the audience with his almost prime-time power point briefing and video. His "Room to Live" discussion implanted a memorable impression for all Utah Air National Guard personnel to use their personal protection equipment (PPE) which was engineered specifically to give the user 'room to live.'
"One of our Guardsmen told me that because of Thursday's activities, he and his buddy rented and wore bike helmets while mountain biking down at Moab this weekend," he said. "This guy displayed strong personal risk management skills that will help keep him and his buddy fit to fight."
A special award was presented to salsa superstar, Senior Airman Jeri Smith, military personnel flight, for making the best salsa. Her "Hot Mama Salsa" was clearly the crowd's favorite as judged by the crowd's applause at the end of the luncheon. For her efforts, she won the coveted "satchel of safety stuff".