An ATV incident and how emergency services respond was all part of the Farm Safety "Round Up 2015" at Dale and Ruth Gerding's farm. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
An ATV incident and how emergency services respond was all part of the Farm Safety "Round Up 2015" at Dale and Ruth Gerding's farm. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

GLANDORF — Standing in front of a group of 120 third graders Tuesday morning Jolene Thornton, a 911 dispatcher, told the students her job was “to make everything okay.”

Thornton was one of several presenters teaching Putnam County third graders about the different areas of farm safety. Dale and Ruth Gerding have been hosting Farm Safety event for 16 years.

All thirteen elementary schools in Putnam County are participating in this year’s Farm Safety Camp, attending one of the four sessions. Students that attend learn important farm safety issues such as: grain entrapment, water and pond safety, lawnmower safety, tractor and PTO safety, gun safety, electrical safety, farm chemicals, ATV safety, “pretty poisons” and sun safety.

The students also witnessed Lifeflight land during the ATV safety presentation.

“You boys and girls could drown me,” said Detective Marvin Schwiebert during the farm pond safety session. He said when someone is scared and drowning they would climb on the rescuers back, resulting in both going underwater and drowning.

Then using ropes, rakes, swimming noodles and other items, Schwiebert demonstrated how you can save someone by taking these items and reaching out to them to pull them in.

Jason Hedrick with OSU Extension had a miniature wagon hopper and storage bin to demonstrate how someone can be sucked down into grain and literally “drown” from not being able to breathe.

Marge Kohls held up numerous look-a-like products and talked about the dangers of using a poison instead of a food product.

This year's presenters spoke on chemical poisoning, electrical safety, grain entrapment and lawnmower safety, ATV safety, pond safety, gun safety, poison look-alikes, sun safety, and tractor/PTO safety.

Farm Safety has had over 8,000 students attend the program including this year since it started. This year they hosted 494 third grade students. This is the sixth year the program has included a reenactment

of the rescue following a four-wheeler ATV accident. The reenactment includes a full rescue with an EMS squad, fire trucks and landing by a medical helicopter that comes out of Bluffton. The students were given the opportunity to see the inside of the medical helicopter and ask the pilot and paramedic questions.

At the conclusion of the program all of the third grade students are given a Farm Safety t-shirt. Gerding said the shirts are sponsored by Ag Credit, Paulding-Putnam Electrical Co-op, Putnam County Optimists, and Putnam County EMS.