Safety rules at NASWI

ADAA Lorinda Johnson smiles as she tries to walk a straight line wearing impaired driving goggles at NAS Whidbey Island’s Summer Safety Fair last week. Dennis Connolly/Whidbey Crosswind

Just about everything you’ve ever wanted to know about being safe and staying safe was the focus last week at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

A Summer Safety Fair was held May 20 in the parking lot in front of the gym and fitness center.

“We’ve been doing this about three or four years,” said Ken Davies, safety specialist. “I think this is the best one we’ve ever had.”

The sunny weather certainly didn’t hurt, nor did the smell of hamburgers and hot dogs grilling out by a white, tented fit dome.

While inside the fit dome, several people representing banks, dentists, Fleet and Family Support, counseling and service centers, Navy fitness, Emergency Coordination Center, Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, Navy Operation Stress Council and many more were set up at tables while sailors and Marine Corps personnel looked at the demonstrations and got their passports, or muster sheets, signed.

The goal of the fair was to remind Sailors and Marines to make smart decisions and manage the risks while participating in summer activities between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when most Sailors and Marines get hurt at home.

The safety fair also wanted to show it is possible to be safe and have fun at the same time.

Aviation Structural Mechanic Mark Castro said the fire-fighting demonstration was helpful.

“Extinguishing fires is good for people to see because they are going camping and barbecuing and doing stuff like that and it helps to have an idea how to put fires out,” he said.

Jeff Kirkey, the base emergency management officer, said they are trying to get personnel to prepare themselves and their families for an emergency event, should it happen.

“We let law enforcement worry about whatever the event is, a natural disaster or other,” he said. “We try to get the family situation mitigated.”

Another table where Sailors and Marine Corps personnel gathered was one where there were goggles that simulated impaired driving.

Men and women we given impaired driving goggles, which make it impossible to see clearly.

They had to walk a straight line on the floor and catch a stuffed toy while wearing the goggles.

Not many people succeeded.

Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Apprentice Lorinda Johnson did better than most. While her line walking was as shaky and uneven as most people, she did catch the stuffed toy.

“It made me feel a little dizzy,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty realistic.”

All in all, the event was pretty successful, said Davies.

“We probably had 20 events and over 2,100 people,” he said.