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Bird's Eye View: Slow down, arrive alive

Col. Bryan Gallagher (right), 95th Air Base Wing commander, presents two Airmen with their next stripe at the Security Forces Squadron headquarters building Monday. Airmen 1st Class Brooke Garton (left) and Mark Smith (center), 95th SFS security police, were awarded the rank of Senior Airman below the zone. (Photo by Airman Mike Young)

Col. Bryan Gallagher (right), 95th Air Base Wing commander, presents two Airmen with their next stripe at the Security Forces Squadron headquarters building Monday. Airmen 1st Class Brooke Garton (left) and Mark Smith (center), 95th SFS security police, were awarded the rank of Senior Airman below the zone. (Photo by Airman Mike Young)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- One problem that continues to plague Edwards is speeding. Over the past several weeks, you may have noticed some of our electronic speed indicator signs around the base. 

These devices not only display your vehicle's speed, but they also show the road's speed limit above the electronic display. When you see any speed limit sign -- electronic or metal -- look at your speedometer and make sure you aren't speeding. 

Speed is a proven factor in fatal accidents. Yet, people still exceed the speed limit by 10, 20 and even 30 mph. Driving 75 or 80 mph on our roads is an unsafe act, and our 95th Security Forces Defenders will vigorously enforce the posted speed limits on base. 

However, controlling the speed of your vehicle on base is not their responsibility -- it's yours. 

Slow down, and help ensure that you arrive alive.

ORM important part of daily life 

Operational Risk Management isn't something that normally comes up in conversation while doing our jobs or relaxing while we are off duty, but it's something we should all consider. 

In a nutshell, ORM is a decision-making process used to identify the best possible courses of action while identifying the risks and benefits to those actions. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't. It's something we do without even thinking about it. 

At work, you might apply ORM in deciding whether it's a good idea to perform a test mission despite a couple of potential hazards. At home, it can be something as simple as deciding whether you want to run in the morning versus the middle of the day. Are the benefits gained by taking one action worth the risk? Is it possible to get the same results with less risk? What can be done to reduce those risks? That's what ORM is designed to help us figure out. 

Some people consider the risks before reacting to a given situation while others may rush to do the very first thing that comes to mind. Whether it's a test mission, exercising or deciding if you want to turn left or right at the stoplight, take the time to consider all of your options before rushing to a decision.

Summer fires preventable 

Walking outside in the middle of the day leaves little doubt -- summer is here. 

Although thermometers here have hit the 100-degree mark regularly in the past few weeks, the temperature is sure to rise as the desert heat becomes even more intense in late-July and August. With the increase in temperatures comes the increased risk of fires. 

There are some things you can do to help prevent fires here at Edwards. 

First, be very careful about what you drop on the ground. One smoldering cigarette can easily cause a massive brushfire. Be sure to dispose of any lit cigarettes and matches. 

Second, keep your lawn regularly watered. A green lawn is less prone to burning than a dried-out, brown lawn. Even though we live in a desert, the lawns will actually survive the heat with enough water. 

Finally, go through your home and check for any frayed electrical wires. If your pet has been gnawing on extension cords or if any of the home's insulated wires are exposed, it's time to replace them before they spark a fire. 

It's going to be another long, hot summer, but with your help, we can protect Edwards from fires.