In an emergency, having a visible address on your farm could make a difference, safety group says

·2 min read
The installation of civic address signage on rural, vacant properties will help first responders and service providers, says George Dickenson. (Kerri Breen/CBC - image credit)
The installation of civic address signage on rural, vacant properties will help first responders and service providers, says George Dickenson. (Kerri Breen/CBC - image credit)

In the event of a fire, injury or other emergency, seconds count. That's why there's a push for farms and vacant lots to have signage showing a street address — so first responders can get there as quickly as possible.

"The way that a 911 responder gets there is by the address you give, and if you don't have an address or a sign on the property then that's going to cause delay," said George Dickenson, a Sarnia farmer who is the chair of the Lambton Farm Safety Association.

The association is trying to spread the word about the importance of those signs and encourage people to get their sign if they don't have one or it was damaged.

"First responders is the most important thing but it also does work into situations where service people are coming [onto properties]."

Dickenson is not aware of any issues with first responders finding rural properties in Lambton County, but the group is trying to be proactive.

"You don't want to do it after there's been a major problem," he said.

Tecumseh joins Farm 911 initiative

In 2014, a young girl named Emily Trudeau died after a farm accident in Hastings County, Ont. First responders had difficulty finding the property because of the lack of signage.

Her death sparked an initiative called Farm 911 - The Emily Project that is aimed at making sure rural and vacant properties have a visible address.

So far, more than 75 municipalities have signed on, including Tecumseh, which announced its participation earlier this week.

According to the town, it's the first municipality in Windsor-Essex to participate. Chatham-Kent is listed as a participant in the program as well. (Other municipalities may have a 911 sign-ordering process in place independent of this initiative).

"We are excited to be leading the charge on this in Windsor-Essex. It is a great initiative to keep our residents safe, especially those in the agricultural sector," Mayor Gary McNamara said in a media release."The idea for this project was raised by one of our citizens and the Emily Project has the full support of council.

A form is available for Tecumseh residents to order their property sign, and the signs cost $40.

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