Lifestyles Military

Safety focus at Fort Gordon event May 5

Wearing a pair of goggles designed to simulate someone who has had too much to drink, soldiers attempted to drive golf carts, weaving around neon cones on Fort Gordon’s Barton Field May 5.

Onlookers laughed as they watched their peers run over the cones while sputtering and stopping through the process. Richmond County Sheriff’s Deputies extricated the crushed cones from beneath the cart’s wheels to put the soldiers back on track.

The activity was one of several held at the installation’s field as part of the annual safety day. Multiple community and Fort Gordon organizations presented the static and interactive displays.

Richmond County also brought out its bomb disposal unit to the event. The unit covers 16 counties in Georgia and supports law enforcement in South Carolina as well.

The Twiggs County Sheriff’s Office brought out its interactive DUI simulator, allowing participants to race against each other. And the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety had a seatbelt safety demonstration which allowed participants to feel the impact of a 25 mile per hour crash.

The Georgia State Patrol brought its helicopter.

Grovetown’s Fire Rescue brought out its ladder truck and fire safety house.

Richmond County bomb disposal unit. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

According to Wayne Kent, Grovetown fire chief, the department has a memorandum of understanding to provide support to Fort Gordon when the need arises. The department has been part of the safety day for several years.

The ladder truck with its 75-foot-long ladder will soon be replaced with a truck with a 100-foot-long ladder. The current truck is more than 20 years old.

Soldiers could also learn about venomous and non-venomous snakes and how to spot the dangerous ones.  

Maj. Gen. Paul Stanton, Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon’s commanding general encouraged everyone to learn something from the day.

Zach Brunk holds a corn snake during the installation safety day May 5. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

“Every soldier is a safety officer,” he said. “We can’t take our eye off the ball in our own personal actions to ensure collectively that we take care of one another, and we operate in a safe manner.”

The event is especially important going into the summer months with vacations on the horizon.

Before he ended his remarks, Stanton told everyone to “slow down” while driving on post.

He sees the daily incident reports and too many times people are speeding, often in excess of 20 miles per hour.

The speed limits on post are not set arbitrarily. They’re not set to be annoying. They’re set because we have formations executing PT, there are formations crossing the roads; there’s construction going on, changing traffic patterns,” he said.

He also urged them not to drink and drive.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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