Airman receives top safety recognition

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Tiffany Black
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
A senior master sergeant from the 115th Fighter Wing received the highest Air National Guard safety award, May 6 at the annual ANG Executive Safety Summit held at Volk Field Air National Guard Base.

Senior Master Sgt. Thomas W. Egstad, occupational safety and health manager, was presented with the ANG Director of Safety Outstanding Achievement Award.

This recognition is given on an annual basis to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the safety field, and is making significant contributions to advancing safety in the ANG.

"Tom proudly represents the 115 Fighter Wing and Wisconsin Air National Guard, and continues to demonstrate personal and professional improvement," said Col. Jeffrey J. Wiegand, 115 FW commander. "Not only is he doing an outstanding job with the 115 Fighter Wing Safety Program, but he is extremely engaged and instrumental at the national level assisting the Air National Guard."

Egstad draws on his more than 15-years of experience in the safety profession to promote a culture focused on safe practices at the 115 FW. He is a strong believer in continuing education, both personally and professionally, and the positive impact it can have on an organization.

Egstad works with the Department of Defense in regard to the Voluntary Protection Program, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration cooperative program, and serves on the Safety Management Advisory Resource Team where he represents 25 fighter units in the ANG. The team meets quarterly to discuss pending safety issues. He is also a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, which allows him to network with professionals advancing safe and healthy workplaces.

His most recent accomplishment was earning his Certified Safety Professionals Certification. This certification is only held by an elite group of 285 individuals in the entire state of Wisconsin.

Egstad described the hard work he put into reaching this challenging, professional goal.

"It was a monumental task," Egstad said.  "I know people who have taken [the exam] four and five times. I studied for two to three hours a day for 18 months straight. It was a personal and professional goal that I've always wanted to accomplish."

Egstad attributes receiving the award to the safety offices outstanding efforts in participating in the VPP, and his CSP certification. He noted the strong competition he was up against, too.

"It's a humbling experience," Egstad said.  "I know every unit puts their best and brightest individuals forward to represent their safety and health programs, so it was a very humbling experience to be recognized at this level."

He received the award in front of more than 270 senior leaders from the ANG.

He went on to credit his strong team and their dedication to incorporating safety day-in and day-out. He commended the Unit Safety Representatives for taking care of essential safety tasks so their office was able to focus on the big picture.