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Think safety first both on, off JBLM

New driving simulators to focus on traffic safety

Northwest Guardian

Published: 03:06PM May 15th, 2014

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Safety Focus Week starts Sunday, and the base’s annual exhibition promises to get all who attend thinking about safety.

The exhibition is set for Thursday at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fest Tent on Lewis Main. The exhibition is set just prior to Memorial Day, the start of the higher-risk summer season.

Joint Base Safety Operations branch manager Joy Fowlkes said this year’s exhibition next to Cowan Stadium is more narrowly tailored toward safety, after branching out into other aspects in the past couple years.

Most of the simulators will focus on traffic safety, including one on motorcycle safety, driving and texting, and the effects of driving while intoxicated. The Directorate of Emergency Services will be helping with traffic safety programs.

The driving and texting simulators are at JBLM for the first time. It’s a joint venture between USAA, AT&T and the “It Can Wait” campaign.

An online version of this simulator is available at www.itcanwaitsimulator.org, but AT&T has a larger version, complete with steering wheel and video game setup, that it will bring this year.

Sound Transit also is getting in on the action. The regional transit authority will have representatives at the exhibition talking about safe transit alternatives to taking a car as well as free tickets to ride on Sound Transit buses and trains.

Madigan will offer public health displays, Puget Sound Energy will warn of the dangerous effects of high voltages and JBLM’s fire department will show off one of its fire trucks as well as demonstrating the safe use of household fire extinguishers and good fire safety practices.

The exhibition coincides with I Corps’ Safety Day, Fowlkes said. America’s Corps is bringing back Street Smart, which showcases the effects of DUI through the Stay Alive from Education, or SAFE, program.

According to the program’s website, a pair of firefighter/paramedics will take participants through a trauma scene resulting from a vehicle crash. The paramedics show everything from caring for the victim to seeing the financial and emotional aftermath of the crash.

“It’s very popular,” I Corps safety manager Frank Cisneros said. “We get a lot of positive feedback."

Cisneros said SAFE will stage Street Smart at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 22 at Carey Theater. Though the program is geared for younger service members, the program can apply to anyone, and Cisneros said everyone is welcome.

Fowlkes said individual directorates will have their own training regimens. Some might use the week to fulfill necessary training requirements, review best practices or re-examine other safety response plans.

“We leave it up to the directorates because they have so many varying jobs within them,” Fowlkes said.