Frankfort and Franklin County emergency responders treat Western Hills High School students posing as victims of an ATV accident during the Rally for Life Thursday in Frankfort. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Mock accident sends safety message, launches Farm Safety and Health Week
For Immediate Release
Friday, September 13, 2013
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FRANKFORT, Ky. — Western Hills High School students got a dose of reality Thursday when they witnessed the tragic consequences of one moment of carelessness on an ATV. The accident was staged, but the scenario was real, and it plays out on roadways and in fields across Kentucky too many times.
“After seeing this program today, you’re going to think about wearing a helmet, wearing a seat belt, and other things you can do to stay safe,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told the students at the Rally for Life at the WHHS football field. “We look at you as the future leaders of Kentucky, and we want you to be healthy and able to be productive citizens someday.”
Commissioner Comer signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 15-21 to be Farm Safety and Health Week in Kentucky.
The Rally for Life featured a mock ATV accident with Western Hills students as the victims. Local emergency responders used real-world tactics and techniques to treat the students. An Air Methods medical helicopter stood by to fly victims from the scene.
Kentucky reported 120 ATV-related deaths from 2008-2011, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Kentucky ranked fourth in the nation behind only West Virginia, Texas, and California.
Sixteen farming-related fatalities were reported in Kentucky in 2012, the Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program stated. That was down from 22 farm fatalities in 2011 and less than one-third of the 50 fatalities reported in 1995.
“I know some of you are thinking, ‘I’m not a farmer,’” Commissioner Comer told the Western Hills students. “How many people here have a farm or have a family that has a farm? How many people have a four-wheeler or a [utility vehicle] or something like that? After you see this program today, you’re going to look at things differently.”
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Home Safety Program travels to every county in Kentucky to deliver safety messages to schools, farm groups, civic organizations, and other groups that request a presentation. The program operates a one-of-a-kind rollover tractor simulator, which demonstrates the correct use of a rollover protective structure (ROPS) on a tractor, and a miniature grain bin and wagon. For more information on the Farm and Home Safety Program, go to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s website, www.kyagr.com.
Watch video from the Rally for Life here.