Andersen's airmen approach high-risk activities by the book
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE - Guam offers Andersen Airmen a wide range of activities due to its location and year-round tropical weather. However, many activities-- while not prohibited-- pose inherent danger to participants.
According to safety representatives, extreme sports such as bungee jumping, parasailing and skydiving have become more popular among Airmen in recent years.
"These activities are referred to as 'extreme' for a reason," said Senior Airman Stacy Turnipseed, 36th Wing ground safety technician. "Any kind of extreme activity must be approached with an abundance of caution and risk management techniques."
According to the Air Force Instruction 92-202, The U.S. Air Force Mishap Prevention Program, anything with a higher potential for serious personal injury or death due to the level of competition, speed, danger, or requires greater agility, stamina or dexterity, is generally considered a high risk activity.
Before Airmen are allowed to participate in a high-risk activity, they must complete a high-risk interview with their unit's designated safety representative. This includes a detailed outline of when and where the activity will take place, what safety precautions will be taken, if the participant is adequately educated on the activity, and whether or not additional training through a professional is deemed necessary before participation in the activity.
Turnipseed said the reason for the interview is because commanders and safety representatives won't know everything about all high-risk activities. By making the Airmen provide information, it ensures they know what training might be required or any dangers they might face before participating in an activity.
"The high-risk interview is necessary and we recommend using an Air Force Form 4391, High-Risk Activities Form, to document the briefing completed by the squadron commander, designated squadron staff member or unit safety representative," said Staff Sgt. Michael Evans, 36th Wing ground safety technician. "However, an Airman receiving a brief doesn't relieve them of the responsibility to apply sound risk management practices."
Just as high-risk extracurricular activities evolve, activity checklists and procedures are expected to evolve as well.
"These processes will continue to evolve so that Airman can continue to enjoy these activities without putting themselves at an unacceptable amount of risk," Turnipseed said. "Our safety staff personnel are constantly updating and disseminating information to unit safety representatives so they can assist us in keeping Andersen's Airmen educated. We want to limit the amount of risk they put themselves at, not the experiences that Guam has to offer them."
For more information on safely engaging high-risk activities, contact a unit safety representative or call the 36th Wing Safety Office at 366-SAFE (7233).
To see a list of activities that are considered high-risk by Andersen AFB, click here.