More than 100 local firefighters and a team of emergency technicians gathered recently at Heiman Holsteins outside Chili for a training exercise tailored to the unique challenges of farm-site rescues.
Organizers described the goal of the training exercise as twofold. The first was to prepare emergency workers for situations that only occur on private farm properties.
The second was to promote cooperation with farmers for a nationwide site-mapping program. Officials described the program as way to inform responders of potential hazards unique to each farm without depending on farmers’ directives or going in blind. “Rescue operations on farms tend to be low frequency/high risk, meaning that they may not happen as often as car wrecks but, when they do happen, they’re often very severe because of the nature of the occupational environment on farms,” said Casper Bendixsen, director of the National Farm Medicine Center.