Welcome to October! The air chills, pumpkins appear, and the leaves change colors in many places. Our focus this month is on Industrial and Agricultural responses. These incidents are often complex and may require specialized technical knowledge and mutual aid coordination. They also happen more frequently than maybe we’ve imagined. This topic can be very broad and hard to define. Manufacturing is definitely industrial, but how about a university with many potential victims and a chemistry lab? How about “agricultural”? Farms immediately come to mind, but the potential incidents from cultivating crops may be far different from the potential incidents where animal husbandry is the primary purpose of agriculture. Look around, and you may find that in your jurisdiction you have these scenes.
There is often a delicate crosswalk between municipal responders and the responders who are hired specifically to respond within an industrial complex. OSHA publishes a guide, Principal Emergency and Response Preparedness, which outlines the regulations for businesses. If there are manufacturing facilities or other industrial businesses in your jurisdiction, you may want to download the guide, and if you haven’t networked with your local “on site” responders in those businesses lately, pick up the phone sometime this month and start a dialogue. For Firefighters and EMS personnel, the International Association of Fire Chiefs even has a section for Industrial Fire and Safety, with a newsletter and other information on the topic.
In many agricultural areas, responders are only called when an incident is critical, and purpose-built, specialized equipment is often involved. Combine overturns? If you aren’t familiar with the vehicle, you aren’t familiar with the inherent dangers associated with a rescue from one. Visit the Texas A&M extension website for a great article on Emergency Preparedness for Farms and Ranches from Smith County Agriculture. Take some time this month to assess your agricultural jurisdiction’s readiness and your personnel’s training for an incident on the Ranch or Farm. In our issue, check out how Penn State now has a training program specifically for agricultural emergencies, Part Two on Finding Your Funding, and our review on Safety Resources.
As always, be At the Ready.
With Warmest Regards,