CARE line, because we care

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jeffrey Baxter
  • 17th Force Support Squadron
I truly believe that technology saves time, but I've also seen how it can waste time. It all depends on what the circumstances are. I am a First Sergeant so I carry a Blackberry. I use the excuse that I just turned thirty-nine, but I had to read the instruction manual three times, ask the communications focal point for assistance four times and finally I sat down with one of my young Airmen who showed me almost all of what I needed to know about using my Blackberry. 

Technology vectored me to waste time and then one of our fine young Airmen saved me time (amazing how much we can get done if we just reach out to our Airmen), by showing me how to use my resource by working smarter, not harder. So, you are asking where I am going with this.

 About a month ago, I was cleaning up my First Sergeant binder and had to rearrange dozens of business cards; chaplain, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Mental Health, safety, 17th Medical Group appointment line, etc. -- I stopped and thought about that young Airmen and how she saved me time. At that moment it hit me; we can do things smarter and not harder. I wrote down the most important emergency numbers given to our new student arrivals and the important numbers given out at the Airmen and Family Readiness Flight. 

I thought instead of spending thousands of dollars on cards that change as often as the west Texas weather, why not activate a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, one-stop-shop telephone line. Remembering the word "Care" would be easier than scrambling for a recall roster or shift through dozens of cards, so I researched and reached out to some local experts and found out the number 325-654-CARE (2273) was available.

 After a few weeks of working with the 17 MDG's automated phone service liaison, Mr. Hedges along with his experts, we made it happen. The fact that all of us should care for each other makes the CARE line feel right. 

All you do is program 325-654-CARE into your phone and you have access to seven of the most important emergency numbers you may need. If you call during duty hours it will go straight to the facility or provider you need. At 4:30 p.m., weekends, down days and holidays the phone service automatically goes to the after-duty hour on-call provider. This gives everyone on Goodfellow including Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, civilians and beneficiaries, timely and confidential access when and where you need it to the following providers: Mental Health, SARC, Chaplain or religious preference provider, 17 MDG appointment line, First Sergeant/Command Post, Wing Safety office and Airmen Against Drunk Driving. Call the CARE line and give it a shot. Remember, we CARE!