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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 17, 2022

Congratulations to 2022 Coast Guard Excellence in Safety Award recipients

By Cmdr. Kevan Hanson, Aviation Safety manager

The Coast Guard’s Office of Safety and Environmental Health recently selected the afloat, ashore, and aviation 2022 Excellence in Safety Awards winners. The recipients were selected for recognition of their efforts to promote, educate, assure, and advance safety at both the unit and enterprise level.  

The winners are:

  • Lt. Cmdr. Jane Peña and Lt. Amanda Thrasher of Sector Columbia River Safety Department. Peña and Thrasher were selected as the Excellence in Aviation Safety Award winners (also known as the Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode Award) for their exceptional Safety Management System (SMS) designed to meet the unique challenges associated with combined sector and air station operations and hosting the Advanced Helicopter Rescue School (AHRS). The Safety Department spearheaded training, education, and mishap drills to prepare unit members to systematically anticipate, identify, and mitigate hazards. They were particularly outstanding at safety promotion, by developing a library for lessons learned, creating a professional literature lending-library, revamping the Eagle Eye program, redesigning the unit level anonymous hazard, reporting tool, and initiating an engineering safety petty officer program. The efforts of the Safety Department contributed to the safe execution of 1,700 flight hours and the prosecution of 88 search and rescue (SAR) cases.
  • Lt. Coty Hall, the Sector Houston-Galveston (SHG) assistant Safety Officer was selected as the Excellence in Ashore Safety Award winner. In September 2020, Sector Field Office Galveston transitioned to Base Galveston, reducing much of the Sector's Safety Committee and requiring SHG to develop new Safety and Environmental Health policy and direction. Hall championed this task and developed a robust Safety Committee. He also implemented an Eagle Eye program to recognize and promote hazard reporting, established the unit's first-ever anonymous safety reporting system, developed a new unit mishap response plan, created a Safety Committee Member of the Year Program, and scheduled annual all-hands Safety Stand-Down and Safety Stand-Up events. These efforts fostered an effective safety culture for Sector Houston-Galveston’s 1,500 personnel combined across the Sector. 
  • Coast Guard Cutter Rollin Fritch was selected as the Excellence in Afloat Safety winner, having demonstrated a robust unit safety program that promoted a forward leaning approach to identify and mitigate potential safety issues, enabling zero lost operational days during seven patrol periods. The cutter's Safety Officer overhauled the unit's Occupational Medical Safety Evaluation Program (OMSEP) after identifying multiple deficiencies, ultimately bringing the unit to 100% compliance and ensuring sustained monitoring for all crewmembers. Despite near constant operations in support of Operation Ocean Hunter in District 5 and Operation Southeast Watch in District 7, the Rollin Fritch safety officer and engineering petty officer vastly enhanced the Training Center (TRACEN) Cape May HAZMAT program by procuring new containment receptacles and tools to facilitate proper HAZMAT storage and offload procedures for shore-side units and tenant commands. 

Congratulations to the nominees and the many safety officers in the afloat, ashore, and aviation communities who have demonstrated exceptional performance and provided outstanding contributions in the areas of mishap prevention, risk management, safety assurance, safety training, and safety promotion.

If you are interested in nominating your unit or team for any of the 2023 Excellence in Safety Awards, please monitor the ALSAFETY Portal in May for the 2023 Solicitation for Excellence in Safety Awards message for more information.