Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Marines from the air station here rallied at Lake O’Neill here for a 101 Days of Summer safety fair and field meet May 17.
The safety fair took an unconventional approach to safety training with program displays and stations and interactive booths to provide Marines with a period of instruction that was both fun and informative.
The booths were manned by organizations such as the San Clemente Lifeguards, Family Readiness, Semper Fit, USAA Financial, and many more.
“We’re out here today trying to educate people on ocean safety tips,” said Chris Coy, a lifeguard at the San Clemente Marine Safety Division. “We’re educating them on rip currents, which account for 98% of the rescues that we have.”
The interactive and diverse subjects at the booths brought the Marines in, helping them become more aware about the potential summer dangers.
“Camp Pendleton Fire and Emergency Service’s set up in the trailer was pretty cool,” said Private First Class Jake Starbard, an embarkation specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “Having the hands on ability instead of just power point definitely helps out with the whole aspect of learning safety.”
After the safety fair the squadron held a field meet where participants competed in various activities such as volleyball, tug-o-war and a section competition for the Commanders Paddle.
“With the commands direction we incorporated the field meet event in the afternoon, which made a really good event.” said Kevin Weiss, the coordinator of the 101 days of summer safety program. “So it was nice to see we could incorporate the safety portion with the camaraderie within the unit.”
Marines from colonel to private joined to compete in the field meet against each other.
Lt. Col. James J. Toth, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Commanding Officer, said this unit isn’t the typical headquarters unit. These Marines don’t get to see each other often, and a field meets like this bring the squadron together.
The final competition was for the Commanders Paddle. Every section gave a single-two person team to participate. After many trips during the three legged race and near collisions during the “dizzy izzy” run, crash fire rescue came out as victors.