Emergency Response Signage in Niagara; Emily 911
Farm accidents can occur in the most remote locations, with unreliable cell service, making it difficult for first responders to easily locate the emergency. There is a flaw in the first response system – not all rural and farm property entrances have civic address signage. The Niagara Federation of Agriculture will work with local municipalities and landowners to correct this flaw. At this time, Pelham, Wainfleet, West Lincoln, Grimsby, Port Colborne have agreed to work with the federation in mapping and supplying Farm 911 signs to farmers who wish to have them installed on the entrances to vacant land. We are currently working with Lincoln, St. Catharines, Fort Erie, Welland, Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake, and Thorold to encourage them to add the program to their municipality.
The objectives of the project include:
- To improve emergency services in our rural communities, by ensuring landowners can request a civic address from their municipality, for entrances to their vacant farm fields. Our emergency response system is based on addresses, and when seconds matter, a sign in the ground can make all the difference in finding someone quickly. There are other community benefits as well to identifying these vacant farm fields like in the case of a road accident or emergency in the rural area, the Farm 911 numbers can be used to pinpoint the location of the accident or emergency.
- To educate farmers on the benefits of the Farm 911 sign and to educate them on how to document and use the numbers in case of an accident or emergency, providing funding so farms can more easily access up to 5 signs per business.
- To work with the fire departments and first responders in Niagara on projects that will make it easier for them to find the location of the accident or medical emergency. According to Ted Hessles, Wainfleet firefighter “There is nothing more stressful than driving around trying to find the person you are supposed to be helping. Precious time is lost searching for the victim. No one should have to go through that, not the victim, their family or the first responders. It is better to have a sign and not need it than to need a sign and not have one.”