Sunday, June 30, 2013

Safety on the Farm - Farm Rescue


Not many people realize the high risks involved with farming. They envision a peaceful process of planting and harvesting, much like how it was done generations ago. Nowadays, however, the process is much more complex and involves lots of machinery, chemicals, and moving parts.
 The United States Department of Agriculture reports that:
  Tractor accidents on farms cause the highest number of fatalities with tractor overturns accounting for 44 percent of all tractor fatalities.
  Fruit farms have the highest work injury rate among various specified agricultural operations
First response is critical in farm-related injuries. Such injuries often occur in isolated areas and may involve entrapment by farm machinery or in structures that are difficult to enter.

Alpine, Sparta and other local firefighters spent this weekend learning about farm rescue at a Farm Rescue class offered at Alpine Fire Station #3 on 9 Mile Road and at the May Farm on Fruitridge Ave by Michigan Agricultural Accident Rescue Systems which is headquartered in Montague, Michigan.   The session was  mostly hands on and was thought to be extremely helpful responding to agricultural related accidents and even those on golf courses.  Sunday was spent on exercises using real farm equipment.  According to Jim May, an Alpine Township farmer and Township Trustee, a similar program was conducted 6 years ago and thought to be invaluable.  More information about the training can be found on the MAARS website.

a farm model was used to lay out several scenarios

Friday evening was lecture and discussion time and Saturday was spent  at Fire Station 3 for hands on training
Farm machinery can be very complex

Calmly setting up a plan and making assignments in a rescue attempt

Assessing the situation as a victim's arm is crushed and pinned under a piece of farm equipment

Rescuing the victim often has to be a slow and tedious process where first responders not only have to worry about the victim but their own safety a well

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