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Face Saver 2000 leads the way in safety innovation

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ryan Hayman
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

For years, Aerospace Ground Equipment personnel risked injury while maneuvering underneath the jack to bolt the transmission column on equipment trailers. Then one day, when a hydraulic pump fell on a 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Airman’s head, everyone knew something needed to change.

“Aircraft maintenance has risks, and we are always looking for ways to make tasks safer. However, if our Airmen are getting injured, we have an absolute responsibility to take action,” said Col. Joshua Pope, 7th Maintenance Group commander.

This concern for safety and drive for innovation led to Staff Sgt. Rick Stotler and Tech Sgt. Gregory Kirchner to create the Face Saver 2000, by the 7th EMS fabrication flight.

The Face Saver design is a cradle-like platform for Aerospace Ground Equipment that holds the transmission into place rather than requiring Airmen to roll under and lift 150-pound components by hand.

"The concept of the Face Saver was constructed out of necessity because there were too many safety risks involved in the old process," said Staff Sgt. Rick Stotler, 7th EMS aircraft metals technology craftsman.

The Face Saver is a three-piece cradle on a revolving platform that can be easily broken down and stored.

Creating the Face Saver starts with a digital draft drawing in a computer program where maintainers can design the geometry of the equipment. The design is then transferred to a water jet that cuts each piece for construction.

"It was a unique challenge getting the exact measurements and designing the piece to fit in the amount of usable space," said Stotler. "But we've risen to the challenge to find a new process that is safer, more efficient and better."

According to EMS experts, the Face Saver design can be implemented at any location.

"Ultimately, we've made a piece of equipment that could be produced Air Force wide," said Stotler. "Plenty of bases already have similar equipment needed to produce the Face Saver, so we made it so that anybody anywhere could make it even in a deployed location."

Executing safe, effective mission tasks with proper supervision is a key priority for the 7th Bomb Wing commander as it pertains to readiness. Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th BW commander said at his most recent commanders call, “We will continue to empower our Airmen out there, doing the heavy lifting, to keep bringing these ideas forward. Sergeant Stotler and Kirchner’s innovative work is an example of how we can modernize processes not just at Dyess but across the Air Force.”