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Agricultural Emergency Management via Improved Community Emergency Services


<OL> <LI> Review the present and develop new modules for the ongoing First-on-the Scene program. <LI> Develop a First-Aid program for farmers, ranchers, and other rural employees who are required to visit farms and ranches. <LI> Develop a training program for emergency personnel to safely handle livestock in emergency situations. <LI> Evaluate the products of objectives 1, 2, and 3 for efficacy and acceptability.<LI> Make all materials available electronically as instructional CD-ROMs and as web based instruction.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Rural communities depend on basic, hazardous industries, such as agriculture, and as a result workers and non-workers alike have a potential for serious injury. The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate the First-on-the-Scene, Farmer's First-Aid, and Emergency Services livestock Handling programs in an effort to reduce the effects of injuries resulting from being exposed to agricultural machinery and other hazards.

APPROACH: Activities to be conducted in this emergency management and community services project will focus on the development of new and the refinement of existing materials that can be demonstrated nationally through a series of train-the-trainer workshops as provided through existing networks of nationally recognized rescue training program instructors (e.g., Red Cross, Farmedic, and National Safety Council). The instructor will then return to their home and neighboring communities and provide training to farm families and rural emergency providers at the local level using the First-on-the-Scene (FOS), Farmer First Aid (FFA), and Emergency Services Livestock Handling (ESLH) materials. The revision of existing materials and the creation of new materials for the FOS series will be accomplished using an expert panel of safety and rescue personnel and in collaboration with the National Safety Council. The development of the FFA materials will be a collaborative project with the American Red Cross. These materials will be made available using electronic technology and self-study guidelines. Contacts have been made with representatives from the National Safety Council and the American Red Cross to partner with The Pennsylvania State University in the development, evaluation, and use of these materials.

PROGRESS: 2001/09 TO 2006/09<BR>
A committee consisting of five individuals that are considered experts in agricultural safety and/or agricultural emergency response was assembled and the original First-on-the-Scene materials were sent to them for their review. This group met twice at successive annual meetings of the National Institute for Farm Safety; once to discuss the current program materials and suggest new materials, and once to review the new materials that had been created. One of the major highlights in this review was a suggested name change in the program to Farm Family Emergency Response Program as it was felt the name First-on-the-Scene for Farm Families was being confused with emergency first responders. That term especially in the Midwest refers to specially trained police, fire, and EMS responders. The committee evaluated the newly developed materials for practicality and usability. During this process, it was decided to develop materials that would make it easier for non-experts to deliver this program. The services of Penn States media production department were utilized to produce all of the instructor tutorials and materials. To accompany the Farm Family Emergency Response program materials, which teaches those first on the scene of an emergency what to do and what not to do, instructional materials were developed to teach those individuals specific first-aid actions to use on victims that are injured on the farm. The materials developed followed the same format as the Farm Family Emergency Response program materials and were actually designed to be used in conjunction with each program. The instructional materials that were developed for these two programs were promoted nationally at the NIFS conferences and through NASD. Emergencies involving farm animals pose unique challenges to emergency responders and community members. Federal and state initiatives have led to a new group of emergency responders called SART/CART personnel. These individuals are dedicated to helping animals but often lack emergency management experience. Emergency responders have experience in emergency management but often not managing farm animals. Recognizing this, a curriculum was developed to train these two groups together. This way, when an emergency involving farm animals occurs whether on the farm or off, coordinated efforts between the two groups will lead to a more favorable outcome. The two farm family programs were evaluated by follow up mail survey of those individuals that acquired the instructional materials. Each participant of the livestock program was asked to fill out an evaluation form after the course was completed. The farm family programs are available on instructional CD ROMS. Both programs are designed to be instructor driven so the materials on the CD ROMS consist of the power point presentations and the instructor narratives. It was decided that these programs really did not fit the web based delivery option. Because of the technical nature of the livestock program, instructional materials are only made available to qualified instructors of this program.

IMPACT: 2001/09 TO 2006/09<BR>
This project demonstrated that emergency responders can be a leader in communities to teach farm family members within their communities how to manage a variety of on farm emergencies. When local emergency responders work closely with their local farmers, great trust is developed. When this happens, emergency responders learn more about farm hazards and how to manage various emergency incidents and farm family members learn how to avoid some hazards and how to manage various emergencies. Educational programs dealing with emergency response that are implemented at the local level and involving all disciplines (farmers, emergency responders, CART volunteers, and town and county leaders) will lead to a reduction in farm hazards as well as a better prepared emergency response community. Emergency responders, because of their ability to manage property and injury emergencies, have tremendous opportunity to have a positive effect on reducing local farm death and injury rates by becoming proactive in leading these local efforts. Reducing deaths and serious injuries resulting from farm incidents, whether from reducing hazards or from being better prepared to manage emergency incidents, will have a direct effect on the local farm economy. This effort has been credited with saving at least one life. A man was seriously trapped in a skid steer, near death when emergency workers were summoned. Crews contacted the dealership that serviced the skid steer and with instructions via cell phone, they were able to extricate the victim successfully.

Murphy, Dennis
Pennsylvania State University
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