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A member of the Camp Al Taqaddum Fire Department demonstrates the proper way to employ a fire extinguisher during the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) safety fair held aboard Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, Aug. 19, 2009. The purpose of the safety fair was to further Marines’ and sailors’ knowledge of general safety concerns and foster force preservation awareness. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Melissa A. Latty)::r::::n::::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Melissa A. Latty

Deployed service members bring safety to Al Anbar

23 Aug 2009 | Lance Cpl. Melissa A. Latty

The 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) held a safety fair aboard Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, Aug. 19, 2009, to help fight complacent attitudes that sometimes plague units serving in deployed environments.

            Although security concerns have lessened for the Marines serving in Al Anbar, preventable accidents and injuries continue to be a serious issue facing Marine leaders at all ranks.

Since 2nd MLG (Fwd) arrived in Iraq back in January, there have been a total of 150 recorded incidents. Certain trends recognized were electrical fires, injuries or improper use or disposal of hazardous material.

            “The purpose of the safety fair was to increase awareness of available resources and promote close-working relationships among our force preservation providers,” said Gunnery Sgt. Terrance Moore, the 2nd MLG (Fwd) safety chief, who organized the event.

              “Awareness of potential hazards, safe practices and training resources aboard [the base] will help units prepare for the dangers present on base,” said Moore. “An event that provides a consolidated opportunity to interact with and learn from the variety of safety services aboard [the base] will increase awareness of these resources and promote safer practices.”

Various workstations were set up to afford service members the opportunity to conduct hands-on training and receive information on a few different topics. 

The corpsmen from the Camp Al Taqaddum Surgical Unit provided training on heat injuries and blood pressure. As practical application, the Marines and sailors were able to get their blood pressure taken on-the-spot to see how the lack of water affects their bodies.

            The Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians brought their robot and let the fair participants operate and learn about the different functions of the machine.  The EOD robots use a camera to investigate possible improvised explosive devices while helping to keep military personnel at a safe distance from potential blasts. The Marines were also taught how and when to call for EOD support.

“The hands-on training really made the safety fair fun and enhanced the learning experience,” said Lance Cpl. David A. Kolczynski, a postal clerk with the 2nd MLG (Fwd).  “I feel like I have a better grasp of safety and our resources on base.”

Other interactive training was presented by the Camp Al Taqaddum Fire Department.  The base firefighters brought two fire trucks for display and demonstrated proper techniques of using a fire extinguisher, proper disposal of materials and the correct procedures for using a burn barrel.

“Mishap prevention and response responsibilities are shared among [the different safety departments], and until now there has been a general lack of understanding for the existence and responsibilities of each of these groups,” Moore said.  “It was my goal to broaden the awareness of all personnel aboard the camp.”

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