Making farming safer
From left, John Logel – mayor, Township of Alnwick/Haldimand, Kim Johnston – constable, OPP, John Lindsay – deputy chief, Northumberland Paramedics, Tim Blake – chief, Trent Hills Fire Department, Jennifer Moore – CAO, Northumberland County, Mark Diminie – chief, Alnwick/Haldimand Fire Department and Allan Carruthers – farmer/property owner. Courtesy photo
COBOURG – Alnwick/Haldimand residents Allan and Terry Carruthers are putting a stake in the ground when it comes to emergency preparedness on their farm. On June 12, the Carruthers’ became the first rural property owners in Northumberland to have a ‘Farm 911’ sign installed at the field entrance to their property, marking the entrance with a civic address.
“Getting this done has been a priority for us; we have been advocates for ‘Farm 911: The Emily Project’ since it launched last year,” indicates Allan Carruthers. “Our property at this location covers 130 acres and we could be from one end to the other and back throughout the day. With a civic address, this field entrance is now part of the emergency response system, giving us a marker to narrow our location for first responders, which they can find using GPS data. We hope that every farmer in the county will move forward with this.”
Named for seven year-old Hastings County resident Emily Trudeau, who died from a farm accident in 2014, ‘Farm 911: The Emily Project’ encourages agricultural land owners to have entrances to their vacant land assessed for civic addresses so that 911 roadside signs can be installed, helping first responders to more easily locate these entrances. The municipalities of Northumberland County have joined with the counties of Hastings, Prince Edward, and Lennox and Addington in making this initiative a priority.
“Today marks the very first of what will ideally be many such installations in Alnwick/Haldimand and across the county,” states Alnwick/Haldimand mayor and county councillor John Logel. “While we hope that the Carruthers family never does experience an emergency, this sign will help our first responders to more easily locate them if they are out in the field when one occurs. This is a vital safety initiative, and Northumberland County is proud to have committed funding in 2017 to kick-start this locally. We encourage our rural community members to contact their local municipality to have their field entrances assessed for one of these signs.”
There are requirements that must be met for a property entrance to qualify for a civic address, including suitability of the entrance for access by emergency vehicles. For more information about how to apply for a civic address and 911 sign for a rural property entrance, visit www.NorthumberlandCounty.ca/Farm911signs.