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News > AETC best in Air Force for ground safety in 2012
AETC best in Air Force for ground safety in 2012

Posted 2/12/2013   Updated 2/12/2013 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Beth Anschutz
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

2/12/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas  -- Air Education and Training Command Safety was awarded the Colonel Will L. Tubbs Memorial Award for ground safety for fiscal year 2012.
The award recognizes the most effective major command, direct reporting unit or forward operating agency ground safety program.

"We're very excited about this award because it captures a command-wide success story," said Colonel Tal Metzgar, AETC Director of Safety. "The Tubbs award recognizes the leadership of the headquarters safety staff, wing safety professionals, line-level supervisors and individual Airmen and civilians who own mishap prevention."

Reduction of military and civilian injuries and fatalities is the primary selection criteria for the award and AETC led the way with zero on-duty fatalities in fiscal year 2012 and a 33 percent drop in fatalities from the ten-year average.

"While it is impossible to contribute this reduction to any one cause, we've been working for several years to create a great safety culture in AETC," said Edward Talbott, AETC Ground Safety manager. "Our commanders, supervisors, military training leaders, and technical training instructors do a great job of conveying great safety messages to all our Airmen. This improved safety culture means Airmen are keeping risk management in their thoughts, and we have less injuries and fatalities occurring across the command."

The team also reported a 30 percent decrease in military on-duty mishaps and a 14 percent decrease in civilian mishaps for fiscal year 2012. Talbott says these statistics are important, but the culture change among the Airmen and civilian workforce is what will really benefit the force in the future.

"Supervisors and workers are working safer and smarter," Talbott said. "Working safer and smarter has paid dividends in the reduction of on-duty mishaps. People are making good choices, working as a team, and calling 'knock-it-off' when potentially dangerous situations arise."

The AETC Safety team's focus on private motor vehicle mishap prevention also paid off with a 28 percent mitigation for fiscal year 2012. AETC has lost 70 Airmen to motor vehicle accidents in the last 10 years, and Talbott says his team is very happy to see the numbers decline.

"Private motor vehicle mishaps are the biggest threat to our Airman, and one of the greatest concerns to safety personnel across the command," Talbott said. "Not only are safer cars contributing to this, but supervisors are making a difference by highlighting risk management with their young Airmen."

Although the headquarters safety team is honored to win the Tubbs award, Metzgar says in the end the entire command is on the same team moving toward a common goal.

"Our purpose is to protect lives and preserve our limited resources," Metzgar said. "Now, more than ever, protecting our highly trained Airmen and preserving resources is vital to national security. Simply put, you cannot do the mission without people and resources."

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