Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fire Service talks farm safety

Kildare Fire Service gets a significant number of callouts to farms over a year, writes Brian Byrne, and not all of them relate to fires.

"But we had two haybarn fire callouts last week alone," says fire officer JP McDonagh, who with his colleague Michael Maciejewski was today showing some of the equipment they use, at the Farm Safety Week event in Kilcullen Mart.

"If a farmer gets caught under machinery, we are called in to rescue them," says Michael. "And also, farm accidents can be in difficult places to reach, so we have a 4x4 vehicle to help with that." He also noted that they deal with cases of sudden illness, such as a heart attack, and these can also be in difficult-to-access cases on a farm.

A farm operative falling into a slurry pit is another not uncommon accident which the Fire Service has to deal with. "And we also have to do animal rescue," says JP. "A horse or a cow can fall over in a field and has to be lifted, or rescued from a drain by strap and crane.

The officers were also advising those attending the Mart on specific fire safety for farms and rural areas, including threats from arson, natural processes that generate heat in stacked crops, or careless use of matches and cigarettes.

Farmers are also reminded to make sure they have adequate fire-fighting equipment and that it is properly maintained.