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Suffolk commands hold safety fair

By Robert Fluegel

NAVIFOR Public Affairs

Sailors and Department of the Navy civilian employees assigned to Naval Information Forces, Naval Network Warfare Command, Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet Suffolk and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command participated in a Summer Safety Fair on May 21.

“Today’s event is critical with the 101 days of summer upon us,” said Vice Adm. Brian Brown, commander of NAVIFOR. “The warm weather, increased outdoor activities, vacations, and home projects all present opportunities for fun, but also safety risk. Personal protective equipment is extremely important when doing yard work to include wearing goggles to protect your eyes, wearing a life jacket while on a boat, and wearing the right attire when riding a motorcycle, to name a few.”

Brown addressed attendees while wearing a reflective safety vest, hardhat and safety goggles to capture everyone’s attention.

“When it comes to home maintenance and repair, don’t be the lucky one, be the smart one,” said Brown as he discussed increased risk during the summer. “Use personal risk management while engaging in home repairs, to include using ladders and personal protective equipment for yard work.”

Brown also discussed the challenges of summer weather in the Norfolk area.

“Summer is also the season on the East Coast for hurricanes and weather safety overall to include thunderstorms, tornadoes and possible flooding. Everyone should have personal plans for their family in the event of an emergency or the unfortunate mandate to evacuate,” Brown said.

Throughout the two-hour safety fair, more than 500 sailors and civilian employees attended the 20 booths addressing various topics including hearing conservation, motorcycle safety, the family advocacy program, CPR, Suffolk Police, Suffolk Fire & Rescue, suicide prevention awareness, ride share and sexual assault prevention and response. The safety fair was organized by the various commands’ safety offices.

“The 101 days of summer safety is critical, a team effort with this safety fair and it all starts with leadership,” said Lt. Christopher Williams, NAVIFOR safety officer. “Vice Adm. Brown’s presence at today’s summer safety fair further pushes the initiative for advancement of safety in the domain.”

Lt. Daniel Gresham, attending the safety fair from NAVIFOR, said he could definitely apply what he saw at the safety fair by keeping his children in check when in their yard at home. He also proudly said he always wears an air filter mask for allergies, ANSI standard Z87.1 safety goggles, long pants and hearing protection himself whenever doing yard work at home.

“This is important information put out here at the safety fair,” said Yeoman Petty Officer 1st Class Maria Elena Chanmoncayo, NAVIFOR’s admin leading petty officer. “I found very useful information about healthy lifestyles at the Navy Environmental and Preventative Medicine Unit 2 booth.”

Cryptologic Technician Networks Chief Byron Clayton, NCDOC safety officer, stated how coordination is key across lots of commands for this year’s summer safety fair to include the Coast Guard, Portsmouth medical, local police, local sheriff and senior leadership’s support.

One of the traditional goals of the fair was for the sailors and civilians who attended to pass on the information they learned to someone else. This year, Brown stressed the vital importance of making the right choice, all the time, every time.

NAVIFOR’s mission is to provide combat-ready Information Warfare forces to operational commanders, ashore and afloat, that are forward deployable, fully trained, properly manned, capably equipped, always ready, well-maintained and combat sustainable.