Valero holds ag safety training


BLOOMINGBURG — Valero of Bloomingburg held its second-annual training session for farmers and first responders on Saturday.

Plant manager, Zach Beversdorf, said that they teach farmers about unique safety situations that occur on farms.

Instructors Dan Neenan and Brian Freese from the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety provided hands-on training regarding a tractor tip-over for extrication of a victim.

Neenan said, “Tractors are the leading cause of injury or fatality in the farming community.”

Dale Mayer, of Mayer Farm Equipment of Jeffersonville, donated an old tractor for use in the demonstration.

A variety of equipment is available for use by first responders, like fire departments, to safely raise a tractor off the victim for hospital transport, but the tractor must be stabilized first for the safety of all personnel.

Wooden blocks called cribbing are first placed under the area of the tractor nearest the victim to raise the tractor to a height necessary to get the injured to safety. Then two air bags are used on the cribbing to raise the tractor six to eight inches to rescue the victim after the general stabilization of the tractor. Safety straps and struts are put in place to keep the tractor from moving before rescue can begin.

Neenan said to always use two air bags in tandem, in case one fails, and never stand in front of the air hose for safety reasons. If a hose comes loose, it could snap back and hit a responder.

After the victim is loaded into an ambulance, the responders must retrieve all the equipment used to stabilized the tractor.

Due to a house fire in the Jeffersonville area Saturday morning, all firefighters were called out of class except the Wayne Township Fire Department, and Chief Chris Wysong led the on-hands training. Two responders from the Concord-Green Fire Department joined the on-site training just as the scenario started to complete the manpower compliment.

In the classroom training, other speakers provided information such as grain dryer maintenance for fire prevention, and sharing the road with increased traffic.

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