The initiative officially launches during the Hastings County Ploughing Match and Farm Show
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Members of Ontario’s agricultural community hope that a new initiative will enable first responders to locate rural sites more efficiently in the case of farm accidents.
FARM 911: The Emily Project encourages producers to put up 911 signs at the end of their laneways so first responders can easily locate specific farms.
The project will officially launch during the Hastings County Ploughing Match and Farm Show on August 23.
Its namesake is Emily Trudeau, a young girl from Tweed who passed away after an accident on her family’s farm in 2014.
“One of the factors in the accident is that there wasn’t a 911 sign at the farm’s entrance, so first responders had a difficult time finding where they needed to go,” Resi Walt, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) member services representative for Nothumberland, Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington Counties, told Farms.com. “They actually had to be flagged down by (Emily’s) mother.”
The project’s goals include creating a unified system for farmers to acquire the signs, developing resources to teach property owners how to contact emergency services efficiently and encouraging rural residents to use the service.
The project team is keeping its focus local for now but this initiative could be brought to other Ontario rural communities in the future.
“Right now our focus is on the launch but we’ve been asked about it,” Walt said of plans for expansion. “We’d be happy to share this information and awareness campaign with other counties for sure.”
Some municipalities, including the Town of Essex, have already made it mandatory for rural residents to erect these signs.
“Final inspection approval will not be granted to a rural building under construction until the municipal address number has been properly erected,” the Town’s website states.
More information on where farmers in participating counties an pick up their 911 signs can be found on the FARM 911 website.