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Team Minot offers a SAFE ride for all Airmen

Operation Safe Ride ensures all Airmen from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, have a safe ride home if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. (Courtesy Photo)

Operation Safe Ride ensures all Airmen from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, have a safe ride home if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. (Courtesy Photo)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Operation Safe Ride ensures all Airmen from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, have a safe ride home if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

Some of the newer Airmen on base may not know about OSR or do not realize that it is an option to get home safe.

The president of OSR, Staff Sgt. Garret Medlock, NCO in charge of outbound cargo assigned to the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron, said he and the command chief of the 5th Bomb Wing, Chief Master Sgt. Geoff Weimer, have come to an agreement that they don't just want OSR to be an option for drunken driving, but rather to approach it from a different angle where OSR is fostering a community of wingmanship in all situations.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office has been working with OSR to help find a procedure if someone feels that they are in an uncomfortable situation, they can call OSR to pick them up and get them home safely, said Medlock.

In 2016, 202 Airmen have volunteered their time to guarantee a safe ride for Team Minot, ensuring 372 people a ride home.

"Last year, there was a total of 26 DUI's on Minot Air Force Base," said Medlock, who added that up to May of this year there have already been 23 DUI's.

Many organizations on base are taking some necessary steps to reduce the number of DUI's on Minot AFB.

"We have it set up so that each weekend is assigned to a specific unit," said Medlock. "If someone not in that unit wanted to volunteer for the weekend, all they would have to do is go to the 5th Bomb Wing share drive and in the Operation Safe Ride folder there is a schedule for the entire year. A person could go look at the schedule and find the unit representative for the weekend they want to volunteer and contact them."

Unit representatives are reminded by OSR about their weekend a couple weeks in advance, then again right before the weekend to make sure they have enough volunteers. If they do not have enough volunteers, OSR will reach out to the Minot Enlisted Airman's Club and other organizations on base to get more help.

"Volunteering for OSR is not just for enlisted Airmen, it is also open to officers and civilian employees on base," said Medlock.

According to the OSR bylaws, a volunteer has to have driven during a Minot winter to be able to drive the OSR vans.  However, during the summer months, there are no restrictions.

"Operation Safe Ride works purely on donations," said Medlock. "If you just gave $5 or $10 it is still way cheaper than a taxi and you are ensuring that we can continue to do the good service that we are trying to do."

If you're underage, don't drink; if you're of age, don't drink and drive; never, ever leave your Wingman.

If interested in volunteering or if you ever need a safe ride home, call 701-723-SAFE(7233).
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