ALEXANDRIA, Ontario -bAccording to the latest Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting (CAIR) information, farm accidents claim about 80 lives per year across Canada, including about 20 in Ontario. Tractors are the big killer, with roll-overs and run-overs accounting for half of Ontario deaths. Farm accidents can occur in the most remote locations, making it difficult for first responders to easily locate the situation and help those in need.
Farm 911 – The Emily Project is an initiative that aims to create a unified system for acquiring standardized civic address signage across all municipalities, including on rural, agricultural and industrial properties. During an emergency, time is everything. Having a clearly posted civic address sign at the entrance to a vacant field could make all the difference when it comes to saving a life. The initiative bears tribute to seven-year-old Emily Trudeau, who died during a tragic farm accident in 2014, when she fell from a tractor and sustained critical injuries. The tragedy was made even worse by the fact that emergency responders were unable to correctly locate the field entrance where the accident occurred. This delayed response times significantly.
On April 27th North Glengarry Council adopted a new Municipal Addressing By-Law to establish regulations and guidelines for the assignment of civic address numbers to buildings and properties within the Township of North Glengarry. In addition, the by-law would specifically describe how the posting of municipal number signs should be done, and how it should be maintained by members of the public.
This differs from North Glengarry’s former Civic Addressing By-Law, which only required that civic address signs be located at properties that had buildings located on them. It did not apply to entrances into the same or other properties created to access fields; or areas without a building.
“The combination of a street or a road name and civic number constitutes a designated address, a “civic address”. As a partner in the 911 public emergency reporting service with the United Counties of Stormont Dundas and Glengarry, the Township is responsible to assign and maintain accurate addresses for residences, businesses, development lots and now for vacant lots as part of the Emily Project- Farm 911 program,” said North Glengarry’s Chief Building Official, Jacob Rheaume.
To help incentivize farmers to obtain civic address signs and to install them at their entrances, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry have provided each of the townships within the United Counties of SDG with a $5,000 subsidy to support this program.
In North Glengarry, the funds are being used to subsidize the cost of the first few hundred signs by 50 percent. This is based on a first-come, first-served basis and is reserved for rural, agricultural and industrial properties that do not currently have signage. The cost for the civic number blade, post and cap kit is $180. With the subsidy, this cost is reduced to $90 per civic address number kit.
“I think it’s important for our emergency services to know exactly where they are going when responding to an accident. Truthfully, if there is just one lost life that we do save by doing this, then it’s well worth the project. I want to thank my counterparts in North Dundas, Mayor Fraser and Deputy Mayor Armstrong, who brought this to the United Counties of SDG, and who were real advocates for it. We’re proud that we’re finally going to get some of the signage up and we’re proud that we can partner with them to help out financially with this initiative,” said North Glengarry Mayor Jamie MacDonald.
Applications for civic address signage can be requested by contacting the Township of North Glengarry’s Building, By-Law and Planning Department at T. 613-525-1116, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
A copy of the Civic Addressing By-Law is available online at https://www.northglengarry.ca/en/town-hall/resources/By-Laws/By-Law-No.-20-2020—Civic-Number-By-law.pdf