EL PASO, Texas - Fort Bliss and the 1st Armored Division announced on Wednesday the post achieved a major milestone by going 100 consecutive days without a preventable Soldier death.
A preventable soldier death is a loss incurred by means other than combat injuries that could have been avoided by taking realistic, proactive measures to prevent. Examples of preventable deaths are suicides, drug overdose or vehicular accidents cause from fatigue or impairment.
In addition, Fort Bliss is now statistically the safest major military installation in the Army, with the lowest per capacity suicide rate and the lowest rate of training and vehicular accidents per square mile.
In recognition of the 100-day milestone, Major General Dana J.H. Pittard, commander of Fort Bliss and the First Armored Division, established Monday, February 4, 2013, the day after the Super Bowl, as an installation-wide training holiday. Further, Major General Pittard will establish training holidays for every additional 50 days Fort Bliss incurs no preventable deaths.
Fort Bliss has more than 28,700 active duty servicemembers, more than 3,700 transitional military servicemembers, and more than 1,600 reserve and National Guard servicemembers. The installation, with 4,600 square miles of land, is the nation's largest Army post by physical size.
Fort Bliss attained this safety standard through the implementation of a "No Preventable Deaths Campaign" that is a multilayer, multifaceted post-wide effort involving leaders, Soldiers, Family Members, professionals, processes, procedures and policies all interacting together to achieve the campaign goal.
Major General Pittard's goal is to ensure Fort Bliss becomes the healthiest, fittest and most resilient post in the Army. To accomplish this he has initiated many new and innovative processes to compliment Army requirements. One of those is the Wellness Fusion Campus (WFC). The WFC covers about one square mile on West Fort Bliss and among other things, provides a variety of assessments, education and treatment for Soldiers, Family Members and Department of the Army Civilians. All newly-arriving Soldiers attend a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, or A.S.I.S.T., at the Wellness Fusion Campus, which helps Soldiers identify potentially suicidal behavior and prevent suicide in fellow Soldiers.
Additionally, Major General Pittard credits the city of El Paso with assisting in this effort.
"El Paso is the largest city in the U.S. adjacent to a major military installation," said Pittard. "El Paso is also the safest city with a population over 500,000 in America.
"We are one community growing together," he said. "El Paso is Fort Bliss and Fort Bliss is El Paso."
Source: Fort Bliss