721st APS stays safe on the job

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“The mission of the 721st APS Safety Office is to advise the commander and prevent mishaps throughout the squadron,” said Master Sgt. Ryan Armour, 721st APS safety superintendent. “There’s a lot of moving components, new Airmen arriving, so training is constantly happening. Really getting out and talking to individuals to try and prevent mishaps is our big mission.”

As the superintendent, Armour is in charge of keeping equipment up-to-date on safety, training Airmen on safety regulations, ensuring those regulations are followed by conducting inspections and addressing any safety concerns brought up by Airmen. Through his knowledge of Air Force Instructions, he is the final word on safety for the squadron.

“It’s a checks-and-balances system,” said Armour. “People know the AFIs, and I go out and make sure they’re doing it by the requirements. I’m the commander’s eyes when it comes to safety. Anytime something comes up that’s safety related, people come to me and I can answer any questions they might have.”

The 721st APS Airmen often find themselves working with forklifts, building heavy pallets and loading large aircrafts with cargo. There are many possibilities for injuries or damaging equipment.

“Safety encompasses our entire job, even our basic core tasks that we accomplish every day,” said Senior Airman Gino Bogetti, 721st APS ramp services specialist. “If we’re not aware and properly trained, especially the Airmen who are out performing these tasks, people could get really hurt or killed. It is very serious. It’s comforting to know we can perform our job well and have the equipment and knowledge to stay safe while doing our job.”

Armour says when a mishap does occur, he will often hear people say they had a feeling something bad would happen. He encourages Airmen to follow through with their intuition and has one piece of advice for all Airmen when it comes to safety, both on and off duty.

“Think,” said Armour. “That’s constantly what I always try to get to the Airmen. Just stop and think for a split second. A lot of the time when a mishap does occur, it’s because someone didn’t think just a little bit.”

Armour says while some may think his entire job is sitting at a desk answering the phone and emails, there are other aspects of his work. One in particular he enjoys the most.

“My favorite part of the job is getting out and talking to individuals,” said Armour. “Talking to people, seeing what’s going on, even just seeing what they’re doing for the weekend. The more comfortable a brand new Airman is with me, the more likely they are to bring up a concern, and they’re where the mission is. I can go out on the line every day of the week and not see what that individual sees. It’s a different mission every day here.”

Through the safety office, Airmen of the 721st APS are provided with the equipment and knowledge they need to accomplish their mission as safely as possible.