Over the past 8 years, USA has successfully developed and implemented Community Education programs to educate the public about the potential dangers of encountering munitions. We supported our client, USACE South Atlantic Division (SAD), in taking a proactive approach to prevent accidents on sites with a likelihood for UXO hazards by initiating community education programs. USA was awarded a task order under our WERS contract with the USAESCH to perform community relations work in the vicinity of Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida for SAD to include:
This work involved presenting community education programs in UXO recognition and safety to local school children at 43 schools within a 20 mile radius of the sites. Training was also provided at public meetings to 27 community organizations including: Police/Fire/Medical Emergency Response personnel, the Chamber of Commerce, County Clerk’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management Agency, School Boards, County Public Works Office, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Tennessee Forestry Association, and construction companies. Materials were also distributed to local libraries.
The programs developed included different presentations for younger elementary and middle school age children and one for high school students and adults. The programs included a site-specific slide presentation, tailored to each FUDS, with pictures of the types of UXO rounds likely to be found nearby. After the presentations, students took part in a question-and-answer session to demonstrate their understanding of the program. The programs were well-received by students, teachers, emergency workers and members of the community.
USA gave handouts with the “3Rs” message (Recognize, Retreat, Report) to the students, including such items as bookmarks, bracelets, pins, temporary tattoos, post-it note booklets, dog tags, magnets, highlighters, pocket guides, posters, and coloring books for the younger children.
As a complement to the USACE UXO Safety Mascot, Sgt. Woof, USA created a new cartoon character, Roxie, and developed a hub page with two educational websites with interactive games, an interactive e-book, and a video for students.
USA has successfully presented community education programs to:
The Department of the Army has made it a priority to educate military personnel, military families and the public in the vicinity of Army installations regarding the hazards of UXO. In support of this program, USA and our team members are currently working on a pilot program that will enhance and expand UXO safety training through implementation of the 3Rs at four Army installations to include: Camp Shelby, MS; Ft. Bragg, NC; Ft. Bliss, TX; and White Sands Missile Range, NM. Work involves developing site-specific presentations and promotional materials, developing training materials and training the trainers at each location in order to create a sustainable 3Rs program.
USA is also redesigning and updating the current UXO Safety page under the Defense Environmental Network and Information Exchange (DENIX) in order to make it more easily accessible and user friendly. This site provides downloadable 3Rs training materials and handouts. At the end of this pilot program, the Army hopes to roll out the 3Rs Program Army-wide.