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Med wing hosts annual motorcycle safety event

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The 59th Medical Wing hosted its 6th annual All Motorcycle Riders Call April 7 for all Joint Base San Antonio motorcycle riders at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center auditorium.

Sponsored by the 59th MDW Safety Office, the motorcycle safety briefing emphasized personal risk management, motorcycle awareness and aggressive mishap prevention efforts prior to the start of the riding season. Attendance satisfied the Air Force requirement for riders to have a pre-season motorcycle safety briefing.

“This is a really good step in appreciating motorcycle safety,” said Brig. Gen. John DeGoes, 59th Medical Wing vice commander.

“It is about making good decisions by weighing the risks versus benefits of riding. You need to maximize the benefits and mitigate the risks.”

Throughout the hour-long briefing, the main focus was education and proper training. After the briefing, riders had an opportunity to join safety monitors on a 58-mile course that provided slower speed limits and 90-degree turns so participants could practice proper riding skills.

Senior leaders and representatives from the safety office shared their personal experiences and gave practical advice on how to remain safe and vigilant while riding in the seventh largest city in the United States.

Col. Kyle Pelkey, 59th Dental Group commander, emphasized the term ATGATT (all the gear, all the time). The better the coverage, the safer the life; but riding is still a high-risk activity, he explained.

“If it’s too hot to wear the full gear, then it’s too hot ride. Do not dress for the ride, dress for the slide,” Pelkey said.

It may feel great to ride, but always be aware of your surroundings and wear your PPE all the time, he added.

Riders are encouraged to reach out to their unit motorcycle safety monitors – in place throughout the wing – if they have any questions about riding or safety. The monitors organize and develop mishap prevention efforts.

“(We) are ready to help,” said Tech. Sgt. Lonnie Simmons, a motorcycle safety monitor and medical lab technician with the 59th Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron.

For more information about motorcycle safety, including a list of motorcycle safety monitors, contact the wing safety office at (210) 292-6594.