Do you know your civic address? Could you give it to 911 if you were calling in an emergency?
Know it, and post it where you or anyone else calling for help can quickly provide it, says the president of the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs.
That can save precious time locating a farm in an emergency, said Andy Thiessen, who spoke at a farm safety seminar here last week. Thiessen is also the Morden fire chief.
The residence number is posted on a coloured sign – usually blue or green – at the end of the drive.
You also need to know your road number, which the municipality can provide, if you don’t know it. The road number is as critical as the residence number because “if we don’t know what road you’re on, you could be anywhere,” Thiessen said.
Many people don’t know their civic address, which creates more confusion during an emergency, he said. 911 operators must frequently prompt people to give that information, he said. He estimates only about one in every two callers to 911 will give their civic address in R. M. of Stanley.
“They’ll give you the section township range, they know that right off,” he said.
EMERGENCY FARM PLANNING KITS
Glen Blahey, provincial farm safety co-ordinator urged farmers to spend some time this fall creating an emergency farm plan which should include the farm or rural residence’s civic address as well as other critical information emergency responders need.
Emergency Farm Planning Kits to help farmers develop these plans have been made available through a partnership between the Farm
Stewardship Association of Manitoba, the province and federal government. The kits contain sheets to post critical information such as how many persons are on site and need to be accounted for, special needs they may have, livestock inventories, location of any hazardous materials and available water sources and fire extinguishers on site.
They also contain all the emergency numbers anyone calling from the farm may need and templates to create farm maps for giving precise direction to any site on the farm. That’s really key if you’re trying to direct emergency personnel to a site other than the yard, said Blahey. “If someone is working out in the field you want to be able to communicate to EMS on how to get to that location.”
Completed plans should be updated regularly and posted by all telephones on the farm. Copies should also be provided to the local fire department, EMO office or other first responders. At present about a dozen farms have created plans and made them available to emergency authorities in his municipality, Thiessen said.
For more information about the Emergency Farm Planning Kit contact the Provincial Farm Safety Co-ordinator at 801-401 York Ave., Winnipeg, Man. R3C 0P8 or phone 1-800-282-8069 extension 2315.