First responders training for ag accidents - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

First responders training for ag accidents

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GRUNDY CENTER (KWWL)-- More than 500 people die each year in agriculture-related accidents.  And it's this time of year, as farmers get into the fields for harvest that those mishaps are most likely to occur. So that's why first responders are taking extra time to practice their response to tractor rollovers.

In the mock drill, a 35-year-old man is trapped under a tractor after a rollover accident.  Fire and ambulance crews arrive on scene to examine just what's happened and then create a plan of attack.  First, they use wooden blocks in a practice called cribbing to stabilize the tractor.  Next, he team works to chain up the tires to prevent the tractor from moving should it start running.  Airbags are used to gradually lift the tractor off of the victim.

"Working with the firefighters, what we're looking at doing, is for them to create a stable, safe scene and to be able to lift that tractor up that rolled over safely, to get their victim out, and to get everybody home safely," said Dan Neenan, an instructor with the National Center for Agriculture Safety.

The rollover Sunday is just a drill that's teaching Grundy County first responders how to extricate a victim pinned beneath a tractor. It's especially useful for younger, less experienced firefighters to practice this response, because unfortunately, rollovers and other farming accidents can be commonplace.

"This time of year, farmers are in a hurry and when you're in a hurry, that's when accidents happen," Neenan said.

"We've experienced some tractor rollovers, grain bin incidences, engulfment, that type of thing.  They're not very frequent, but at times they do happen, so we have to prepare for those," said Reinbeck fire chief Dan Mohlis.

In the mock accident, the victim was successfully removed in about a half-hour.  It's training that first responders hope they don't have to put into practice.  But now, they're even more prepared should the worst happen.

The Grundy County Farm Bureau worked to organize the training exercise as part of "National Farm Safety & Health Week" activities.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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