Three Things I Learned from Being Deployed in Manama, Bahrain

Kristi Pronovost ABC Keystone YP Blog, The Merit Shop Spokesman Blog

By: Austin Kann, Field Representative, Tradesmen International

The Importance of Water

Nothing is stressed more in the military than to drink water. Or ‘’Hydrate.”

Your back is hurting? Drink Water. You’re falling asleep? Drink Water. You just were told Underway was extended 3 weeks? Drink Water. You get my point – the reason water is so stressed to the enlisted is because being deployed in an environment that cools down to 97 degrees at 2200 and 70% humidity can get you used to constantly sweating to the point where you can have a heat stroke on Watch. We had a saying of “Hydrate or Die.” Seems extreme but in some cases it’s true. During the day, the heat index can reach 130+ degrees. If you don’t stay properly hydrated, something is bound to happen.

I apply this to my current employment through work on jobsites. Making sure our employees stay hydrated and have access to water on every job they are on is crucial. If I need to drop off a case of Deer Park water or bring a bag of ice to refill the jobsite cooler, I will. It is easy to get lost in your work and forget to stop and take a drink. If you go on to the United States Department of Labor’s website, you will find this in their first paragraph under “Dangers in Heat:”

More than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry.

Granted, there are a lot of things that play into having a heat related injury such as breathable clothing and proper rest. But water and staying hydrated is vital.

Communication is Key

In any situation, Communication can make or break any task. When you’re putting out a sweep in the ocean for mines, you have to be very mindful of what commands are coming from the Safety and Deck Leader. If the next step is to pan out on Line 3, and you thought they said to haul in, you just snapped a 3/4 inch steel cable that is now lashing across the Deck cutting in half anything in its path.

Also, when in Burger King waiting to order food, and you are standing next to someone who you can’t speak to due to a heavy language barrier, you use body language as communication to figure out whose turn it is to order a Whopper. You wouldn’t want to upset a person in their own country and disrespect them when you are the guest.

Back in the civilian world, the dangers associated with communication have changed. Now communication is making sure I send the best craftsmen to my contractors for what they need. If a contractor tells me they need a guy on Monday, and I don’t ask what they will be doing and communicate with the contractor the needs of the job, we could end up with an electrician running a dual flush toilet in a conference room.

Dedication 

The definition of dedication according to Miriam Webster is: “The quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose.”

To me, being dedicated is believing in the cause you have, which can be what gets you through your toughest days. If you don’t have dedication, you won’t have the motivation to do what needs to be done. Having something you believe in will give you purpose and the drive to succeed. I am now dedicated to serving my contractors anywhere from Hershey to Bernville, New Philadelphia to Denver. I am dedicated to setting the Standard for Tradesmen International and showing contractors the importance of having a True Business Partnership.

To wrap everything up, I am dedicated to my contractors and becoming successful in my life, I am communicating that through this article, and I am currently drinking a big glass full of water. Thank you for your time and Be Safe.

March 20, 2019