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Ind. First Responders Train Farmers in Trauma Care

Greensburg Daily News, Ind.

Aug. 24—With school back in session, Greensburg Community High School agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Greg Schneider is wasting no time when it comes to hosting informative events for students and area farmers.

Most recently, a farm trauma training event was held at Greensburg Community High School.

According to Schneider, the training had three objectives:

—Familiarize farm workers with the use of lifesaving medical equipment such as tourniquets. Each farm operation that sends an employee will receive a farm trauma "glove box" kit through a grant the school received in the amount of $1,200 from AFOI. Decatur County Memorial Hospital helped put the kits together.

—Provide an inter-agency training opportunity for area first responders through a mock entrapment rescue to be conducted after the classroom portion of the training.

—Open a dialogue between first responders and the agricultural community in terms of what each party will need to most effectively save lives. For example, how can we use the GPS on a tractor to assist in locating the accident scene?

The event was held in cooperation with the Greensburg Fire Department, the Greensburg Police Department, the Decatur County Sheriff's Department, central dispatch, the St. Vincent's StatFlight Trauma Team, Miller Equipment and Decatur County EMS.

The combine training was made possible by Miller Equipment, "Stop the Bleeding" training was offered by St. Vincent's Hospital Trauma Center, and trauma kits were funded through a grant by the Decatur County Community Foundation's Ag Field of Interest "Harvest a Row" program.

Schneider said their target audiences for the event were local farming operations both large and small, as well as youth from Decatur County.

"From my perspective as an agriscience teacher and FFA advisor, one of the most rewarding parts of this project was having the opportunity to work with so many emergency agencies and equipment dealers that were willing to step up and assist," Schneider said. "This agricultural safety event was truly a joint effort."

Purdue University Agriculture Training Safety Consultant Mike Manning spoke about the significance of the training event.

"This training gave participants the opportunity to understand why agricultural accidents occur and how to be prepared to respond in a positive way," Manning said. "No one wants to ever experience this, but training like this improves the chances for positive outcomes."

Local farmer and Decatur County resident David Miers said the event was one of the most important trainings he had attended in many years.

"In a possibly life-saving training opportunity, the Greensburg [High School] Agriculture Department brought together an outstanding group of individuals from Purdue University, nurses from St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis, our local law enforcement, local fire department and our EMTs to train us on proper trauma procedures," Miers said. "I had received trauma training while in the Army and was surprised to learn that techniques and procedures have changed dramatically."

Miers said while the event focused on farm trauma, the training would have been beneficial for anyone in a leadership position.

"When this program is offered in the future, I highly encourage farm businesses in particular to send at least one representative," Miers said. "A life may depend on it."

Michele Sullivan from the National FFA Organization was impressed with the number of local farmers who participated and found value in the event.

"One of the things that really impressed me was the fact that not only did the local farmers gain a lot of knowledge about how to assess and respond to a farm emergency, but the local first responders also learned some of the needs that they could address from an agricultural standpoint," Sullivan said. "I believe that this training will be a catalyst for additional conversations between local farmers and first responders. To me, that was a win."

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