Seymour safety this summer

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Taylor Hunter
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

With the school year over and summer break officially beginning, many families will be spending time together and leaving for vacation.

With warmer weather comes new activities, with those activities come safety risks. Whether it be swimming, hiking, exploring or even just traveling, no adventure is void of danger, which means safety is something everyone should always consider before heading out.

June is National Safety Month and the 4th Fighter Wing Safety Office encourages Airmen and their families to be aware of safety concerns and learn how to avoid them.

“We do our best to prevent fatalities, but some things are out of our control and we have to accept that,” said James K. McNeill, Jr., 4th FW occupational safety manager. “What we don't have to accept is the preventable ones, such as speeding, drinking and driving,not wearing seat belts, and motorcycle riding without receiving the proper training.”

Areas of concern for summer safety include heat-related illness, swimming, hurricane safety, motorcycle safety, living and working conditions.

While most people consider themselves well informed on being safe, it is always recommended to check ahead of time before traveling and take precautions before any activity to prevent accidents or even death.

First and foremost, avoid traveling alone and always have a cell phone or some other form of communication. Check on conditions when you are traveling, such as traffic and weather and if flying, check those conditions for your destination and get to the airport early.

Heat exposure comes with heat-related illness when individuals don't take the proper precautions. Heat cramps and rashes can appear as signs of heat exhaustion. Prevention starts with proper hydration and monitoring the amount of time spent in humidity and heat.

“Awareness should be at the front of your mind,” said Tech Sgt. Ashley Michonski, 4th FW Safety Investigations NCO in charge. “Hydration not only needs to occur when you are thirsty, but constantly throughout the day. If you know you are going to be working outside, or have your annual fitness assessment to complete, don't wait until the morning of those activities to hydrate. You should be drinking sufficient amounts of water days prior to those events.”

The next area of concern is water safety, including swimming and boat preparation. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while performing any water activities. If it affects your mind, then it affects your judgment which can impact safety decisions..

“It’s important to understand what you’re going to do before you go do it,” said Michonski. “For instance, if you are going to go swimming, you shouldn’t go by yourself or go too far off the coast and you should also understand riptides and how to swim in them.”

Another rule of thumb is to never leave children unattended while in a pool area. Keeping gates and covers along the pool helps to prevent water related incidents. Do not swim in areas where the waves are too high or there may be a current stronger than you are capable of handling. Also the Safety Office encourages Airmen to be sure all equipment works and fits properly for the designed use.

As Independence Day approaches, be aware of the safety hazards that come with barbecuing, lighting fireworks and other activities. Remember and refresh training from the combat lifesaver course and/or first aid course. The safety Office recommends keeping a first aid kit in your car with plenty of bandages, wipes, gauze and scissors.

Being safe while having fun during the summer months is possible.
“Be safe this summer and make good decisions, one bad decision has the potential to affect hundreds of your friends and family for a lifetime.” said McNeil

For more tips on how to stay safe this summer, visit the Air Force Safety Center Website at