WOOSTER, Ohio – The farm is a home, a playground and a place where children learn to do chores. But it also comes with the unique hazards associated with a farm and children need to take responsibility for their own safety, according to the organizers of the 2006 Progressive Agriculture Safety Day.
The idea for the safety day came about when Dawn Schirm and Nancy Wise, co-chairs of Wayne County Farm Bureau’s Promotion, Education and Image committee, saw a similar event advertised by Tuscarawas county.
“We went down and spent the day at their event and we thought it was something that we needed to do in Wayne County,” Schirm said.
Fire safety. Apple Creek Volunteer Fire Department Chief Les Durstine, along with members of his department and the New Pittsburg Volunteer Fire Department, were on hand at the event to man the Wayne County Fire and Rescue Association’s Safety House.
The safety house is beneficial because it teaches children about fire safety at a young age.
“This gets children involved at a young age, so we are able to teach them the do’s and don’ts of fire safety,” Durstine said.
Underwater rescue. Another popular stop during the event was the Wayne County Underwater Search and Rescue Team under the direction of Jim Imhoff, commander of the dive team.
The dive team was formed in 1984 when the fire chief at the Wooster Township Fire Department saw the need for a team.
Imhoff has been with the team since 1985 and said that the team works with police and fire departments doing evidence recovery, stolen property and body recovery. Currently there are 21 members of the team and they are still based out of the Wooster Township Fire Department.
“Not all of the members of the team are divers,” he said. “Some of them are tenders who work on land to help us with the underwater search or rescue.”
All of the team members are volunteers and most of them are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and First Aid. It is the only such unit in the county and it will go anywhere in the state if needed.
Dealing with accidents. Alan Griffiths, a member of the Wooster Township Fire Department gave the children tips on what to do if they were the first ones on the scene of an accident. He added that while farm accidents are fairly rare, they may result in traumatic injuries.
“Walk around to where you can see the victim’s face if possible,” he said. “Talk to them, find out what happened, but don’t put yourself in danger. When you call 911, tell the dispatcher what happened, where you are and how many people were involved in the accident. The more information that you can give the rescue workers, the better prepared they will be with the right equipment.”
Animal safety. When it comes to working with large animals, we need to think of safety first, ours and the animals’, according to Mike Geiger, a large animal veterinarian. He stressed the importance of having a safe working area and an escape route.
Robyn Tate and Stacy Shaw discussed the importance of staying away from downed power lines as electric is always looking for something to get it grounding point.
Shaw said it is important to make sure there are no power lines around when you are moving equipment or flying kites. It is also import to call the power company to find out where the electric lines are located before beginning a digging project.
Goal. The ultimate goal for participants is to help them build a lifelong healthy respect for farm hazards and ultimately reduce the number of injuries and deaths among the farm population.
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