State agencies enter partnership to work together on farm safety

Published 1:55 pm Friday, September 16, 2016

LOUISVILLE — Officials with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System/Kentucky Fire Commission today signed an agreement to work together to promote farm safety in Kentucky.
“This Memorandum of Understanding formalizes our relationship and ensures that it will continue for years to come,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “Our Farm and Home Safety Program works closely with emergency responders throughout the Commonwealth to promote farm safety and provide training for incidents that are unique to agriculture. We are grateful to the fire commission and all our emergency responders for their dedication and effort.”
“Many of our firefighters, both career and volunteer, already are involved with farming, either as a hobby, career, or additional form of employment,” said Ronnie Day, executive director of the KCTCS/Kentucky Fire Commission. “This program will be a valuable asset to their everyday agricultural activity and will enhance safety for citizens in numerous communities across the Commonwealth.  The Kentucky Fire Commission is committed to enhancing safety and education within the fire service for citizens and industries across the Commonwealth.”
Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed today:
· The KDA will work to assist in recruitment of firefighters across the Commonwealth. 
· The KCTCS/Fire Commission will serve as a resource for training in agricultural emergency responsiveness.
· The KCTCS/Fire Commission and KDA will assist fire departments in obtaining other resources such as personnel, funding, and equipment.
· The KCTCS/Fire Commission and KDA will be able to share equipment.
·  The KCTCS/Fire Commission and KDA will work together to schedule farm rescue equipment usage.
· Representatives of the KCTCS/Fire Commission and KDA will appear together at state and local fairs, shows, and other available opportunities to promote farm safety and agricultural emergency response.
The KDA’s Farm & Home Safety Program reaches some 1.5 million people a year at schools, civic clubs, and major events such as the National Farm Machinery Show and the Kentucky State Fair. The program utilizes a rollover tractor simulator, which demonstrates the correct use of a rollover protective structure (ROPS) and seat belt to protect a tractor operator if the tractor turns over; a miniature grain bin and wagon, which illustrate the danger of being trapped by grain; and ATV, anhydrous ammonia tank, and PTO displays. Dale Dobson of LaRue County, the KDA’s Farm and Home Safety Program administrator, started the program and brought it to the department in 1998.
Kentucky deaths in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting totaled 13 in 2015, according to the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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