Military Report: Fort Wainwright Installation Safety Day helps families explore Alaska safer

FAIRBANKS, Alaska Exploring the outdoors in Alaska brings unique challenges and for soldiers based in Alaska, they may have never been exposed to an environment like Alaska.

"You've got people coming who've never even seen mountains and trees and they're ya know from the lower 48 warm weather, they've never seen 40 below and those kinds of things, they come out here and they don't understand, we have bears, we have big animals that you can get yourself in trouble with, so making them aware of bear safety, wildlife safety in general, the mountains, hiking, camping, all those things, are really important so you can understand what you're getting into," said Robert Tanner, Safety Officer with the Fort Wainwright Safety Office.

Bureau of Land Management Park Ranger Teri Balser says you always have to be prepared when boating in interior Alaska. "Our water never warms up, we have very cold water, so even strong swimmers need to wear life jackets because you get cold, you fatigue really quickly, so that's one thing, even if you feel like you're a strong swimmer, it's really important to wear this," said Balser.

Representatives from the Fort Wainwright Fire Department want the community to know that they are always just a call away. "Our phone number is a real easy one to remember, 911, so even if they think there's a problem and they don't know what to do with it, they can always give us a call, we'll come out and check it out, just make sure everyone stays safe," said Fire Chief Charles Gibbs with the Fort Wainwright Fire Department.