Be prepared!

Lt. Col Vincent T. Jovene Jr.
76th Airlift Squadron commander

***image1***Earlier this year, a mom’s 2-year-old son was suffering from a high fever. She was considering taking him to the emergency room when the boy suffered a seizure in addition to an asthma attack. Without warning, he closed his eyes and stopped breathing. With his limp body in her arms, she went into a frantic mode and ran with the child to a neighbor’s house. Fortunately, the neighbor was prepared with the skills to perform infant CPR and in a few minutes called out to the mom – “He’s breathing again!”

Another Airman relocated a smoke detector in his house to the kitchen. While he had it in his hand, he tested it to make sure it worked. The next night its beeping woke him. He thought it smelled like plastic was burning so he got a towel to cover his face and went to look for the source of the smoke. As he entered the kitchen the room went black. He grabbed a flashlight and found the source of the fire was the water boiler. Quickly he grabbed his fire extinguisher and ended the emergency. Apparently the unit shorted out and before the circuit breaker tripped, some of the plastic melted and caught on fire.

He was prepared in several ways – with a smoke detector that he checked regularly, with a flashlight that had working batteries and with a fire extinguisher. His preparation saved his own life!
Final example, a servicemember on his way to work hydroplaned on a wet surface, rolling his car several times. The car was unrecognizable from the roll; fortunately the driver was wearing his seatbelt. He is alive today because he was prepared.

The next crisis is unknown; but simple risk management principles will increase preparedness. Stay trained and proficient in daily duties. Analyze upcoming events and anticipate the possible hazards. “Be prepared!” is more than a Boy Scout’s motto, more than sage advice. It covers a lot of ground and in each of the examples it saved lives.

Let these examples remind you that a little training and equipping is just smart. Be prepared!