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News | July 12, 2023

Water safety and staying hydrated highlights CRDAMC’s Summer Safety Fair

By Rodney Jackson, CRDAMC Public Affairs

Fort Cavazos, Texas – The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center offered many tips and ideas to help family members and staff personnel remain aware of things that can quickly make a fun event go wrong during a Summer Safety Fair in the hospital main lobby atrium July 7.
Participants received information on how to stay safe during popular summer events like swimming and boating, how to maintain a proper hydration level during the summer heat, and much more from many organization and hospital department staff members.
The Fort Cavazos Fire Department and a hospital nutritionists offered recommendations for proper hydration and controlling fires from dry brush during the summer heat.
“Take plenty of rest breaks if you’re working outside and drink plenty of water,” said Richard Huffstatler, lead fire inspector, Fort Cavazos. “If you work hard for 15 minutes, take a good rest break in the shade.”
If you’re burning something in your yard, because it’s so dry, the wind can pick up and spread a fire fast, so take extra precautions, he added.
Eating lightly salted snacks and using hydration multipliers will help maintain hydration goals according to 1st Lt. Megan Hower, registered dietician and chief of nutrition inpatient services, CRDAMC.
Hower encouraged participants to be mindful of outdoor activity, to not overdo it and to match food and fluid intake to the activity being performing.
Eleanor Sullivan, spouse of Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, former battalion commander, 91st Eng. Bde, 1 CD, said that her and son’s Levi 7, and Xavier 3, had learned the most so far from the coast guard on boating safety and how to choose the right life jacket.
“Levi and Xavier got to do a commitment card that requires them to always wear a lifejacket, practice boating safety, not stand while the boat is moving and they both received a certificate,” said Sullivan.
Garry Barr, flotilla commander, and Rafel Vazquez, flotilla safety officer and both volunteers for the Coast Guard, urged not only boating safety but swimming safety.
Barr and Vazquez spend volunteer hours patrolling the Fort Cavazos Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, Still House Hollow and Belton lakes for boaters and swimmers that are being careless or don’t know what they are doing is dangerous and advise on ways to be safer.
“We see a lot of unsafe acts while patrolling and like to explain the proper way navigate the water,” said Barr. “We’re all about educating and have fun while doing it,”
Vazquez also, an employee at the hospital, has been a member of the flotilla as a hobby for 14 years.
“Many swimmers try to save inflatable floatie devices that the wind blows away,” said Vazquez. “Even if you are the most experienced swimmer, you will get tired because the wind will keep pushing it further away and it’s not worth it.”
Vazquez expressed the importance of reading the label when purchasing a life jacket for boating to make sure it is coast guard approved and not a swimming aid life jacket. 
“When you’re in the pool they are great, but on the lake using it will bring on a different scenario with the underwater currents and the wind,” said Vazquez.  
The team also offers boater safety training classes out at BLORA the first Saturday of every month.
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