Happy Fourth of July

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- This Friday we will celebrate our nation's independence with our families and friends. Many of you will spend a long weekend enjoying the summer weather. As you take a well-earned break from the daily grind, we ask you to actively manage the risk associated with your activities, particularly regarding fireworks.

Although firework shows are offered to the public, many people prefer to take matters into their own hands. Even if you choose otherwise, your neighbors or friends of your children may try it. Remember, even if you're not the cause of a mishap, you can step up and prevent one. Be a good wingman and don't let anyone else expose your family to risk that you haven't assessed and accepted. Thousands of children are injured in fireworks accidents annually.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CSPC, estimates that there were nearly 9,600 firework related injuries during the Fourth of July season in 2011. Many of the injuries could have been prevented had basic safety steps been taken. Some safety tips include; observing local laws, purchase fireworks from a reliable source, and never alter products. 

Senior Master Sgt. Roberts told me that we are nearly halfway through the Critical Days of Summer, and for the first time in five years, we have not experienced any related fatalities in the Air National Guard. I believe this is a direct result of the sound risk management applied by each of you. However, water safety continues to lead 2014 hazards to the general public. Two weeks ago, a girl in Glenmont, Md. drowned while playing in a crowded pool. Remember, each situation is different and requires your personal involvement.

On behalf of the 157th Air Refueling Wing leadership we wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday weekend!