Message: Stay safe at home, on farm

FAIRMONT – All accidents are preventable.

This was the constant message at a farm and home safety day camp Thursday at Heritage Acres in Fairmont.

About 120 Martin County students from first through fifth grade attended.

The concept of a farm safety day camp for kids began in Iowa, according to Greg Wills of Martin County Farm Bureau and a member of the Martin County Safety Committee, two of the event sponsors.

Locally, the event is held every two years and has evolved to include home safety.

“If we can prevent one serious accident, one death, then it’s all worth it,” Wills said. “We just want to ensure awareness.”

Students were divided into smaller groups with 4-H and FFA members from Fairmont and Martin County West schools serving as teen guides. The groups rotate to the various hands-on demonstrations sprinkled throughout Heritage Acres.

“We take a lot of things for granted,” said Wills, stressing the importance of education and awareness.

Some household and farm chores get to be routine for adults, who often circumvent safety procedures because of familiarity. An inexperienced child doing the same chore the way he has seen an adult do it could get injured, or worse.

Children who attend the camp are eager to share their new-found knowledge. Wills said one farmer came into his office and told him, “My grandson just told me I was doing it wrong.”

“We need to incorporate safety in kids, and at this age, it does sink in,” Wills said.

After the camp, parents and grandparents joined students for a pork patty supper, courtesy of the Martin County Pork Producers.

Home and safety demonstrations and presenters included: bicycle, skateboard and scooter safety by the Fairmont Police Department; electrical safety by REA; first aid and emergencies by Gold Cross Ambulance; animal safety by the Fairmont Veterinary Clinic; 911, ATV, boat and water safety by the Martin County Sheriff Department; lawn mower safety; flowing grain safety by Cargill; train safety by Union Pacific Railroad; fire safety by Fairmont Fire Department; gun safety by local certified instructors; chemical safety by WFS; and power take-off and pinch point safety by Farm Bureau.