Joe Foss Field, S.D. (Aug. 8, 2014) --
The 114th Fighter Wing conducted their first ever industrial rodeo to satisfy yearly safety requirements here on Aug. 2, 2014.
"We wanted to do something as an alternative to making everybody watch safety slide shows for wingman safety day," said Senior Master Sgt. Troy Erlandson, 114th FW NCO in charge of safety. "The rodeo gave the Airmen a chance to focus on their machinery fundamentals while accomplishing their safety requirements."
The rodeo tested the participant's communication and driving skills as they navigated machinery holding a full bucket of water through an obstacle course while attempting to lose the minimum amount of water in transit.
The safety office chose to implement the base's first rodeo with the Logistics Readiness Squadron's forklifts, the Civil Engineer Squadron's track skid steer loaders, and the 114th Maintenance Group munitions weapon's loaders. Anyone who was qualified to operate that machinery on the base could participate in the events.
Timed obstacle courses were created by the respective unit safety representatives from LRS, CES, and MXG based on a variety of criteria set forth by the safety office: pre-use inspection, personal protective equipment, spotter communication, load containment, and course navigation.
"It's a really good morale builder," said Tech. Sgt. Kyle Sorenson, 114th LRS mobility specialist and forklift operator. "It's been a lot of fun and I think everyone is really getting into it."
To win an event the participant must receive the highest collective point total from each of the criterion listed above. The tie-breaker for each one of those areas will be the time, although it is the least significant aspect they'll assess, said Erlandson.
There was also an incentive to performing well in the rodeo. The top bronco buster in each area received a $25 gift certificate to The Exchange on base and the top overall bronco buster received a certificate from the safety office.
"This is new territory for the base," said Erlandson. "In the past, we've always done the prescribed training so hopefully this will evolve into more hands-on activities during wingman safety day base wide."