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BRITT, IA – It may have looked like an emergency at the Hancock County Fair, but these Fire Department and EMS crews are actually at the fairgrounds for some farm rescue training.
“Being in a rural environment like we are constantly being updated with new machinery that farmers can be hurt on when their in the field,” said Mike Kalkwarf.
Mike is part of the Garner EMS crew.
And he’s soaking in all the knowledge he can on how these machines work, and what to do if a worst case scenario happens.
And he’s not alone.
People from all over Hancock County are learning as well.
“Well a lot of the times in a rural area it takes a little while for the fire departments or ambulance services to get to the scene of the accident. So it’s important for the neighbors and by-standers to understand some of the equipment, so they can also be a resource in the need of an emergency,” said Mike.
Randel Hiscocks, President of the Hancock County District Fair Board, is a farmer himself, and knows all too well what can go wrong while out in the field.
“A lot of the stuff is getting more and more technical all the time. We got equipment out here that don’t even have a key on it. It has a code you punch in. if you’re not familiar with that you’re not going to know how to start it, to override it, how to shut it down,” said Hiscocks.
And it’s not just running the high-tech tractors.
There are all kinds of “what if” scenarios to cover, including grain bin rescues and tractor rollovers.
“A little bit of safety, a little bit of a thank you from us as a board stuff like that. I hope somebody walks away with something like I didn’t realize that, I didn’t know how to do that, because it might be me on the equipment,” said Hiscocks.
“I’m hoping that we take some skills that we’ll never have to use. These are skills that as life goes on, you really do hope you don’t use them but we know that more than likely in the environment we have here in rural Iowa we are going to use some of these some times,” said Mike.
Mercy Air Med was also scheduled to fly out to the Fair, to teach folks, especially farmers, how to prepare for an emergency landing on their land.
But it wasn’t all about safety Monday night.
The Hancock County District Fair Board also took time to show their appreciation towards those who risk their day-to-day lives for others.
A free meal was prepared for the workers, and there were plenty of thank-you’s to go around
Many on the Fire Department and EMS crews in Hancock County are not paid, and do their jobs as volunteers.