MacDill’s safety tips for 'Critical Days of Summer'

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Scott Warner
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Heat stroke. Dehydration. Sunburn. Rashes. Cramps.  

What do all of these illnesses have in common?

They can be all induced from exposure to hot temperatures during the summer, and with Memorial Day weekend in a few days, the 6th Air Refueling Wing safety office has started its 101 Critical Days of Summer safety campaign from now until Labor Day weekend in order to inform the public on summer safety tips.

“We want to encourage our members [and their families] to follow work/rest cycles on-duty, limit off-duty activity to cool hours of the day and stay informed during the critical days of summer,” said Tech. Sgt. William Parisse, a 6th Air Refueling Wing occupational safety technician. “Military personnel can prevent heat related injuries by paying attention to extreme heat alerts, seek training on how to counter heat-related illnesses, and hydrate.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Memorial Day should see a high temperature of approximately 88 degrees Fahrenheit in Tampa.

However, with other regional factors, it could be much hotter than that.

“With the rise in the heat index and humidity, compounded with the lack of physical training tests and unit fitness conditioning, the 6th Medical Group clinic has a real concern for an increase in heat-related illnesses this summer,” said Col. Greg Richert, the 6th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron commander and a board certified emergency medicine physician. “One of the best tips to combat heat-related illnesses is to stay hydrated."

Despite innately knowing that the summer can be unbearably hot, people still disregard common safety precautions to enjoy one of the largest vacation time periods of the year. People go boating, swimming and they visit family and friends to have a good time, especially if it’s just to escape the bitter cold weather of their hometowns.

What makes matters worse is that heat-related illnesses are not the only safety concern for the summer. Car accidents, alcohol-related incidents, uncontrolled fires and other safety issues can also occur.

“With the long holiday weekend approaching, I would like to remind you to never leave your grill unattended, keep your grill clean by removing grease buildup and all grills should be used only outdoors,” said Mr. Matthew Amann, the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services Flight deputy fire chief.

Furthermore, according to the National Safety Council, approximately, 43,300 people may be seriously injured on the roads over the long weekend, and about 400 people will die in a motor vehicle accident over Memorial Day weekend.         

Parisse also mentioned other good safety tips for this weekend are as follows:

  • Always wear seat belts and make sure child car seats are properly installed.
  • Have your car serviced before a long trip.
  • Plan your trip beforehand and give yourself extra travel time.
  • Never drink and drive. Every day, nearly 30 people in the U.S. die in a motor-vehicle crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • Stay alert while driving, stay alert and avoid distracted driving. To stay alert on your trip, get plenty of rest before you leave. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination to avoid aggravation.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and bringing water with you for traveling.

Properly practicing safety measures and precautions should not simply be performed by just one at-risk person, it takes a team of caring people to avoid becoming a statistic.

For more about the importance of safety during the 101 critical days of summer, please call MacDill’s safety office at (813) 828-3383 or check out our safety website at