Grimsby council approves FARM 911: The Emily Project

·2 min read

First responders will now have an easier time locating those in need in rural Grimsby areas, thanks to town council’s unanimous vote in favour of the Emily Project.

The Farm 911 project will see the installation of farmland signs and farm parcel municipal addressing to otherwise unmarked areas.

On Feb 16, council heard the report presented by Grimsby Fire Chief Bill Thomson. He said the project was inspired by Emily Trudeau, a seven-year-old girl who died in a farming accident in Hastings County in 2014, after first responders were initially unable to find her farm because it lacked a marked address.

Thomson said that by providing signs, this project “provides another tool in the tool box” for first responders.

The initiative encourages property owners to have 911 signs installed at the entrances to their vacant lots, including farmers’ fields and woodlots, so first responders can easily locate specific farms using a civic address. The 911 signs have a number on them, similar to a house number. They are typically yellow with black numbers.

Of 175 identified farmland properties, an estimated 70 properties face municipal roadways and require signage as a result. Properties that receive an address will be required to notify impacted agencies, such as 911.

According to the report, applicants to the program will pay approximately $60 each; this is to help recoup $2,100 of the estimated $9,800 the Town of Grimsby will now pay in sign maintenance fees. The fire department, Niagara Federation of Agriculture, public works department and several other departments across the Niagara region have all collaborated on this effort.

Grimsby is not the first municipality to participate in the Emily Project. The project, also known as Farm 911, was introduced to the Niagara region in 2019 by Pelham, with Wainfleet joining soon after.

For more information about the project, visit Farm911.ca.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News