MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- More than 20 local, state and federal organizations from across the nation collaborated with the II Marine Expeditionary Force to host a safety expo at the Marston Pavilion, Oct. 22, 2014.
Participants included the Red Cross, multiple North Carolina law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina, the II MEF Safety and Prevention Readiness departments and many more.
Each organization set up a table with representatives to provide information, as well as handouts and gifts for the Marines and sailors who attended the event.
“The purpose of the safety expo is to bring a bunch of organizations to one location, where the Marines and Sailors can collect safety information from a wide array of sources and even walk away with some useful tools,” said Mike Gallagher, the Occupational Safety and Health program manager for the Safety Department, II MEF, and a native of Pittsburgh.
In addition to informational pamphlets and links to valuable safety resources and programs, the attendees were also able to stuff their complimentary bags with small, but useful gifts. Window scrapers, fire alarm replacement calendars, and gun locks are a few examples of the free gifts that were available.
But what each organization really wanted to provide to the service members was their unique messages to increase their personal and operational safety.
“We came to make sure the Marines and sailors understand all of the laws of the highway, in order to keep everyone safe,” said Master Trooper Mike P. Jones, a North Carolina Highway Patrolman and former Marine corporal from Atlanta. “If we can get everyone to be a little more patient and courteous on the highway, it would cut down on wrecks and most certainly cut down on speeding violations.”
Conducting a safety expo is an annual requirement for all major commands in the Marine Corps, according to Marine Corps Order 5100.8. This expo was conducted in conjunction with the II MEF safety stand down, a week of required training on all aspects of safety, and focused on Fall/Winter safety.
“Most of (the Marines and sailors) have already received their safety training, so this event is to provide them with useful information to take home regarding what programs are available to them,” said Jessica L. Huss, a prevention specialist for II MEF and native of Indian Head, Maryland.
Over the seven-hour period the event was open, approximately 1,500 Marines and sailors took time away from their work schedules to attend.