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AF finishes strong at end of 'critical days of summer'

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Sylvia Saab)

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Sylvia Saab)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- The Air Force 2012 Critical Days of Summer campaign ended Sept. 4 with zero fatalities for the Labor Day weekend for the first time in five years.

"We at the Safety Center always have a Quest for Zero mission," said Bill Parsons, Air Force Chief of Ground Safety. "It is, and always should be, our pursuit. Even if we suffer an always-tragic fatality, we strive to prevent another from happening, and we must continue to be aware of the risks associated with off-duty choices and to be the best wingmen possible."

Parsons attributes the fatality-free holiday weekend to summer safety campaigns, and the contributions of the Airman to Airman Safety Advisory Council members.

"That program allows Airmen ages 17-26 to address their peers in commander's calls and safety briefings to share their personal safety lessons so that others may be persuaded to make solid risk management decisions," Parsons said.

While the Air Force had no a fatalities over the Labor Day weekend and zero on-duty fatalities during the 15-week CDS campaign, 16 Airmen died in off-duty mishaps; two of those involved alcohol.

According to safety reports, nine of the mishaps involved motorcycles. The other seven included sports and recreation, privately-owned motor vehicles and mishaps occurring at home. So far this fiscal year, the Air Force has lost a total of 44 Airmen in off-duty mishaps.

Air Force Safety Center officials remind all Airmen that most mishaps and fatalities are preventable, and that every Airman lost impacts many lives, including family, friends and colleagues.