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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Ag Rescue Demos at Farm Science Review Stress Farm Safety

August 19, 2008

LONDON, Ohio -- Tractors and other farm machinery, such as grain augers and corn pickers, lead the pack each year in on-farm fatalities and injuries. This year's Ohio State University Farm Science Review will be the site of agricultural rescue demonstrations to emphasize the importance of safety on the farm.

Ohio State University Extension will host the Ohio Fire Academy in featuring Ag Rescue demonstrations designed to educate both emergency crews and farming communities the appropriate techniques for utilizing rescue equipment in agricultural emergencies.

"Ohio averages about 27 fatalities a year and I can't even count the number of injuries related to tractor rollovers and equipment entanglement," said Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension's state safety leader. "The demonstrations are designed to help bridge the knowledge gap between emergency personnel and farming incidents they may encounter."

The ag rescue demonstrations will be held at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily at the Safety Education Tent on Friday Avenue, across from the Firebaugh Building. Farm Science Review will take place Sept. 16-18 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio.

Jepsen said that the ag rescue demonstrations serve two purposes: to increase awareness of the proper use of farm machinery and to educate emergency personnel on equipment they normally wouldn't encounter.

"There is a continual need for rural medics and fire departments to understand the complexity of an agricultural incident. They are dealing with equipment they normally wouldn't see in a typical community," said Jepsen. "Knowing how to shut off the equipment or to disassemble a piece is important to preventing further injury or even death."

The demonstrations emphasize the importance of ag rescue training, offered on-site at the Ohio Fire Academy, as well as direct-delivery in Ohio communities. Academy instructors will be on hand during Farm Science Review to discuss the requirements of the OFA courses. They will also have information on high school and post-secondary education and training for those considering a career in fire fighting.

In addition to the ag rescue demonstrations, the Safety Education Tent will also highlight all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety. The ATV safety program will focus on the proper way to dress when operating an ATV, how to fit an ATV to the rider, and how to properly operate an ATV.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 1982 and 2006 (the most recent data available), Ohio was ranked 12th in the number of ATV-related deaths. Over 85 deaths alone occurred between 2003 and 2006.

Through a National 4-H Council grant, OSU Extension is holding programs throughout 2008 to train ATV users on basic safety guidelines and proper operation. Youth ages 8-18 are the main focus of the programs, as a third of injuries and deaths occur with children. Information on the training programs and how communities can host such programs will be available at the Safety Education Tent at Farm Science Review.

Grain bin safety rounds out the Safety Education Tent. Jepsen and her colleagues are presenting a series of demonstrations and exhibits on various aspects of grain bin safety, including rescue procedures, equipment safety, ladder safety, electrical clearance and control box maintenance. The display will cover the top five grain bin hazards: engulfment, entanglement, falls, electrocution and explosions.

Farm Science Review is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It attracts upwards of 140,000 visitors from all over the country and Canada, who come for three days to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and learn the latest in agricultural research, conservation, family and nutrition, and gardening and landscape.

Tickets are $8 at the gate or $5 in advance when purchased from county offices of OSU Extension or participating agribusinesses. Children 5 and younger are admitted free. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16-17 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 18.

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Candace Pollock
Dee Jepsen