CHAMPAIGN – Tractor rollovers are the number one type of farm accident nationwide and the Illinois Fire Service Institute wants firefighters to be aware.
The class teaches firefighters how to rescue people involved in rollovers, according to field instructor Bill Fulton.
“About 36 percent of the fatal accidents that happen in Illinois on farms involve either rolled over tractors or rolled over farm equipment,” Fulton explained.
An eight-hour class on agricultural rescue techniques also covers safety around manure pits, grain bins and combines. This is appropriate since ag is such a broad occupation.
“We offer that course at no cost to the local department through our Cornerstone program,” Fulton said.
Fulton was stationed at this year’s Illinois State Fair in Springfield to bring awareness to the dangers presented on farms. A simulated tractor rollover was located near the fair midway. Fulton said several people who visited the booth either knew someone involved in a similar accident or were involved in tractor rollovers themselves.
Safety experts recommend farmers install a rollover protection system on tractors and slow down when turning. Places such as waterways and ditches should be approached with caution.
“Just be careful,” added Fulton.
More information can be obtained by contacting the Fire Service Institute through the University of Illinois in Champaign or by visiting them online.