111th Attack Wing hosts Health and Safety Awareness Day

  • Published
  • By Jonathan Dahms
  • 111th Attack Wing

The 111th Attack Wing in conjunction with the Pennsylvania National Guard hosted a Health and Safety Awareness Day here on June 2, 2022 to emphasize the importance of these two components in maintaining the readiness and health of the military and civilian work force and their families who live and work in the Biddle ANG Base community. The event also provided the opportunity to focus on summer safety as we approach the unique challenges we face during that season.

“The event was developed and sponsored by all three components: the Pennsylvania Army National Guard State Safety Office, the Pennsylvania Air National Guard wing safety offices and the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Safety Office,” said Lt. Col. Deborah A. Fisher, State Safety and Occupational Health Manager at the Pa. National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. “We have been working over the years to collaborate as much as possible. This was the first year we were able to fully partner on this event.”

For the previous 28 years, this event was primarily conducted annually by the PAARNG SSO and DMVA Safety Office at Fort Indiantown Gap, Fisher said. The event at Biddle ANG Base yesterday, and the one last week at Coraopolis, Pa. with the 171st Air Refueling Wing, was the first time we conducted this event at another location, she said.

The event included motorcycle refresher training, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator training, fire extinguisher training, a distracted driver simulator, and various health and safety displays from external vendors.

“It’s great to see the collaboration among the DMVA, PAARNG and PAANG safety offices that this program has brought about, with monthly updates to the adjutant general and working together on events like these,” said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Regan, the Pennsylvania Deputy Adjutant General-Air and Commander, Pa. Air National Guard. “The health, safety and readiness of our soldiers, Airmen and civilian personnel, and the resilience of their families, is what this program is all about.”

Regan, who was representing the Pa. Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Mark J. Schindler at the event, was the keynote speaker and presented a unit safety award to the PAARNG’s Field Maintenance Shop 27 based in Easton, Pa. The unit was recognized for five years without work-related injuries or illness, in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

One key element of the day was presenting the annual ‘summer safety briefing’ to the personnel attending the event. The full video is available at the following link:

A thunderous sound was present on the airfield for the whole day as seven personnel from the 111th ATKW underwent motorcycle refresher training, navigating obstacles and learning the finer points of motorcycle safety.

“The motorcycle refresher training went great,” said Master Sgt. Scott A. Burr, 111th ATKW Occupational Safety Manager and Unit Training Manager. “Participants quickly picked up and applied the important riding skills and techniques taught and demonstrated.”

Burr was the assistant motorcycle instructor, supporting the lead instructor Tech. Sgt. Grant Lion, a Pennsylvania Air National Guardsman assigned to the 193rd Special Operations Wing, who provided the motorcycle refresher course for the first time at the 111th.

“This combined event was a great success for the first year,” Fisher said. “We look forward to continuing this partnership and growing this ‘Health & Safety Awareness Day’.” Since this event was primarily targeting full-time employees, in the future, we’d like to offer a similar event to drill status guardsmen and conducted during a drill weekend, she added.