Students attend Farm Safety Day

Farm Safety Fall 2016

Not every student living in a rural area lives on a farm and all students can benefit from a refresher course in farm safety. Acme’s Tri Campus Elementary students (Acme, Linden, and Carbon), along with Three Hills Elementary school students participated in the safety day program held at the C.C. Toews Farm, north of Linden in the afternoon of Thursday, September 29. Agriculture for Life partners with community members to deliver the rural and farm safety program to this day’s 200 students. The half day event hopes to teach and keep students, and those around them, safe and healthy while living on or visiting a farm. It’s especially relevant during harvest season when tractors and other big machinery is out and active and the grain being off loaded is like quick sand. There are 12 stations that delve into fire safety, chemical safety, large animals and respiratory hazards, name a few. Often it’s high school students who steer the younger students through the curriculum of each safety station, with the elementary students rotating through each of the stations. Today’s program utilized 15 adult and 30 student volunteers.

Two volunteer members of the Linden Fire & Rescue Department had fun with the children showing them around the fire truck, letting them get the feel of holding the hose and the power of different volumes of water at their fingertips. They got to step in the boots and clothes and learn about the gear and probably one of the most important elements had to do with a student knowing where their address was (when phoning in a fire) and where on the property was a safe place to greet the arriving emergency vehicles. Ember Resources also helped with safety such as ear plugs, first aid and eye protection. The company donated $1000 to each department (Linden, Acme, and Carbon) for continued fire safety awareness during fire prevention week at the schools, to provide fire drills among other things.

The larger the combine, the less visibility the driver has for children playing in the vicinity. Children were shown just how far away from the combine they had to be, in order for the driver to have any chance of seeing them. They were warned about the large tires and loose clothing getting caught in moving parts. A quick but effective demonstration of the power of safety belts utilized farm fresh eggs and how a safety harness could protect them during a rollover, as a child wearing a safety belt was protected. Many eggs were injured during the course of this demonstration. When viewed side by side, dangerous chemicals can look very similar to ‘safe’ products. For example paint thinner appeared in the test tube to look just like water.

“This is an extremely worthwhile program,” stated Principle Kurt Ratzlaff. “We live in an Ag community. This is a chance to educate all our students.” Kaley Segboer, Ag for Life Marketing & Communications Coordinator, agrees and also lists as a benefit, the link to careers. “These programs utilize industries in our communities and allow students to become aware of these career paths. When their schooling is finished these careers show them there is something to bring them back to the community.”