News | June 17, 1999

Safety Takes Off Like a Rocket for NASA and Air Force Employees

Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS) 45th Space Wing are suspending normal operations in order to focus completely on safety and health today. Thousands of NASA and Air Force employees and contractors will participate in Super Safety and Health Day. Its theme is "Safety and Health Go Hand in Hand."

Super Safety and Health Day represents the commitment of KSC Director Roy Bridges and Patrick Air Force Base (PAFB) Commander Brig. Gen. Randall Starbuck to the principle of safety and health first. "This day is an investment in the well-being of our workforce," Bridges said, "It is also a chance for all of us to renew our commitments [to safety]."

Loren Shriver, KSC deputy director for Launch and Payload Processing, will open the event and introduce Bridges and PAFB Vice Commander Col. Thomas Deppe. The keynote speaker is Captain Dennis Fitch, United Airlines (Elk Grove Township, IL) pilot and instructor. Fitch assisted in the investigation that followed the United Airlines Flight 232 accident. The day's planned activities include an interactive employee question-and-answer session with an expert panel, vendor displays, organizational training and visits by NASA senior management and astronauts.

The question-and-answer panel includes Bridges and Deppe, as well as Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore; Burton Summerfield, Associate Director, KSC Biomedical Office; Ed Adamek, Vice President and Ground Operations Associate Program Manager, United Space Alliance; Bill Hickman, General Manager, Space Gateway Support; Col. William Swindling, Commander 45th Space Wing Medical Group; and Jim Schofield, Boeing (Seattle) Payload Program Manager. Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel members Bob Sieck and Richard Blomberg will also participate. The three-hour session will be broadcast live on closed circuit television for all KSC, CCAS, and PAFB employees to view. Viewers will be encouraged to submit questions during the panel discussion via telephone or e-mail.

Following the morning question-and-answer session, employees will view about 150 safety and health displays set up around KSC, CCAS, and PAFB.