Fri08292014

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Emergency personnel train for farm-related accidents

King George County Fire Rescue & Emergency Services hosted a Farm Machinery Safety Education Course. The class was held March 4-6 at Hasting’s Farm and Carr’s Farm.
The fire department received training about responding to accidents involving silos, grain elevators, silage pits, hay balers, augers, rakes, combines, tractors, manure pits and learned about the various chemicals found on farms.
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in America, according to a report from McNeil & Company, the National Farmedic Training Program. In 2009, it was estimated that approximately 710 agricultural employees died while on the job in the United States and there are three permanent injuries for every fatality, according to the article “Agriculture Injuries and Fatalities,” by Joseph Devine. These accidents usually occur in the harvest months. The second most common time is during planting season, Devine wrote.

Accidents often occur off the roadways in soft fields where rescue trucks cannot go. This makes it very difficult for rescuers to haul their equipment to the accident scene.  Farm equipment also weighs a lot more than just a typical compact automobile that a fire fighter would encounter in a motor vehicle accident. Rescue equipment used in motor vehicle accidents and other procedures are often not suitable for agriculture accidents.
Through the hands-on training, firefighters can become familiar with equipment in order to do a quicker extrication. Also discussed were various types of equipment, including construction equipment.
There were 15 participants in the course. On Saturday and Sunday students attended classes and toured local farms. Students worked hands-on, extricating mannequins from equipment.
“We had great cooperation from Miles Hasting and Larry Carr. We couldn’t have done it without them,” instructor Kevin Cook said.

— Brandi Elliot

 

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