Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) prepared themselves for a safe winter holiday period by attending a command safety standdown at the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau in Virginia Beach, Va., Dec. 5.
Ike’s Safety department sponsored the safety brief to encourage Sailors to make smart decisions on and off duty and to share insights designed to help them work and play safely.
“The intent of the briefs is to try and help Sailors make good decisions,” said Cmdr. Ray Dumont, Ike’s safety officer. “The root cause of the worst things that happen to our Sailors is bad choices.”
The safety standdown will encompass topics such as road safety, electrical safety, stress and suicide prevention and responsible drinking.
“I want to motivate Sailors to make smart decisions by showing them the benefits of using techniques like operational risk management in everything they do, from planning to execution,” Dumont said.
The safety briefings were divided into three parts and included two guest speakers. Jeremy Bates, a motivational speaker, talked to the Ike crew about making good choices. Jared Vance, a Virginia state trooper, addressed the topic of traffic safety.
Dumont said Ike’s leadership recognizes that off-duty safety is not just important to individual well-being; it is mission-critical throughout the command.
“We do these standdowns for the safety of our Sailors, to protect the people around them and to maximize readiness to get the mission done,” Dumont said. “The decisions of one Sailor can negatively affect many other shipmates.”
Personnel Specialist Seaman Andre Christian, a transfer clerk in Ike’s Administration department, said it is every Sailor’s responsibility to make good decisions for the good of the command.
“It’s like what my mama used to say, ‘If one of you guys gets in trouble, all of you get in trouble,'” Christian said. “If we have one person get a DUI, it just makes us look bad.”
Dumont said the standdown gave all of Ike’s Sailors a better chance to be safe throughout the holidays and beyond.
“That’s really what this is all about,” Dumont said. “It’s about making the right choices, at work and at home, every step of the way.”
Press Release, December 06, 2013; Image: US Navy