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Ont. groups host barn fire prevention event

Ont. groups host barn fire prevention event

OMAFRA, Equine Guelph and the South-West Oxford fire department will lead the free session

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Three groups are hosting a joint discussion to help farmers prevent barn fires and prepare emergency personnel respond to them.

The South-West Oxford fire department, Equine Guelph and OMAFRA will lead the free event on Friday, Dec. 7 at the Mount Elgin Community Centre from 9 a.m. to noon.

Each group will present different information.

Equine Guelph’s portion of the event will cover the organization’s available resources, said Susan Raymond, the group’s communications and programs officer.

“We’re going to be showcasing our available face-to-face and online education tools,” she told “We have a strong training program for first responders on how to respond to several emergency situations, whether it’s a fire or a livestock transport rollover. And we have other programs about best practices for the wellbeing of the animals and the people involved in the incident.”

The fire department will discuss a program aimed at helping firefighters assess situations.

South-West Oxford Fire will highlight its fire placard initiative, which encourages farmers to have placards noting the distances from the laneway to the barns.

Having that information readily available can help firefighters once they arrive on scene.

“We want to know whether it’s a 500-foot driveway or a 1,000-foot driveway,” Troy Moffatt, a volunteer firefighter, told the Woodstock Sentinel-Review. “If the first truck arrives and there’s smoke blowing in your face, it makes it very difficult to lay out your water suppression.”

Attending the session may also be beneficial for other volunteer firefighters, Moffatt added.

“In the volunteer service, you get people from all walks of life, but not everyone comes from a farming background,” he told the Woodstock Sentinel-Review. “It’s a way to get everyone together to understand one another.”

OMAFRA will provide barn fire statistics and trends, and ways to improve safety.

Anyone looking for more information about the session or wanting to reserve a spot can send an email to

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