Friday, September 4, 2015

TOP STORY >> Safety giggles

Comedian makes safety a laughing matter

By Senior Airman Scott Poe
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The subject of safety is no joke, but Team Little Rock members laughed and learned about the serious subject from comedian Steve Verret Aug. 28.

Verret visited the Rock as part of the Base’s continued focus on the critical days of summer. However, his safety spiel was not like most that military members experience. Instead of “death by Powerpoint”, his performance encouraged audience participation and tackled topics ranging from vehicle safety to suicide prevention.  

As a former traffic safety teacher, Verret learned the language of laughter enlivened the dull subject of safety. His funny stories of his Louisiana Cajun upbringing and youthful misadventures were a hit with his students. 

“When I moved to California I was doing comedy at The Improv and someone told me that there was a job opening for someone who wanted to teach driving safety,” said Verret. “So I went to teach traffic safety, but I didn’t do it the traditional way, I taught in a comedic way.”  

He learned quickly that the techniques from his standup act translated well to the safety setting. He uses his gift of gab to inspire people to look at safety from a different perspective. 

“I believe a person retains much more information when they are having fun and laughing,” said Verret. “I figure if I can save one life by doing these shows, then it’s totally worth it.” 

“I always think what a tragedy it would be if someone serving our country would die because of not wearing a seatbelt or they didn’t have their headrest up or they didn’t think before they had alcohol before they drove the car,” he said. “So I am doing my little part I think to help people who serve our country.” 

Richard Myers, 19th Airlift Wing occupational safety manager, said participants enjoyed the show and he looks forward to inviting Verret back.

“Steve Verret offers a fresh way of delivering safety information through comic relief,” said Myers. “His unique approach to communicating the safety message is one that rejuvenates the Airmen’s perspective on safety here at Little Rock, and we look forward to seeing him again.”

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