GFB 2nd District hosts farm machinery rescue training
Posted on Apr 18, 2023 at 20:00 PM
By Katie Alt, Georgia Farm Bureau
Twenty-two volunteer firefighters gathered March 24-26 for a Farm Machinery Rescue Training held by Georgia Farm Bureau’s Second District with training led by the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads (TNARS). Attendees were able to earn 16 continuing education hours while being trained both in the classroom and on the ground in a variety of farm rescue drills. Scenarios included those with a hay baler, tractor, combine, and skid steer.
In 2021, workers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry experienced one of the highest fatal injury rates at 20 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers, compared to a rate of 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers for all U.S. industries, according to the CDC. Transportation incidents, which include tractor overturns and roadway crashes, were the leading cause of death for these farmers and farm workers.
“The important thing to keep in mind related to farm injuries and statistics is that the numbers are automatically skewed because not every incident is reported,” said Brian Robinson, state training coordinator for TNARS. “Statistically speaking, agriculture has been one of the top three most dangerous occupations for many years.”
Robinson encourages farmers to pre-plan just like emergency responders do.
“Take a walk around the shop, farm, barn, equipment etc. and see what hazards are there or could be potential hazards,” he said.
Robinson also advises farmers to work with neighbors and family members on a plan in the event of an emergency.
“A lot of times a neighbor or family member will be called to assist and no one remembers to contact 911. Calling 911 first then going to render aid gets the emergency response wheels in motion,” Robinson said.
Simple things like labeling containers with the content, eye wash procedures, having your cell phone in close proximity and it charged or having a charger in the equipment, letting someone know your location and expected time of arrival/departure are all ways Robinson encourages farmers to be prepared in case of an emergency.
“Another simple thing for someone who has multiple chicken houses is to label or paint a number on each house so when the responders arrive, they can go directly to the incident instead of driving around trying to figure out which house the victim is in,” said Robinson.
Robinson admits there aren’t a ton of resources available for training online but says one of the things TNARS focuses on is to put actual instructors who farm or have farmed in the past or have an equipment background leading the course. He encourages those who are interested in a similar training as what took place in District 2 to reach out to TNARS and they will gladly assist with those needs. For information about TNARS programs, visit www.tnars.org/.
A special thank you to sponsors and donors: Ag Georgia Farm Credit, Mike Jones Ford Lincoln, White County Farmers Exchange, Ag Parts Supply, Muddy H Farms, Hall Farms, Layton Farms, and Scrap Out Recycle, as well as the Sandy Cross Volunteer Fire Station for the use of their facilities and GFB Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee 2nd Dist. Representative Colt Hart for organizing the event.