Farm 911 seeks United Counties support

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Farm 911 seeks United Counties support
Resi Walt, Farm 911 Committee member presenting to SDG Council. Shawna ONeill/ Seaway News photo.

ONTARIO – Proper signage is fundamental when it comes to emergency services locating the site of an incident, especially in rural areas.

Farm 911 made a presentation to SDG Council on Tuesday, May 21 detailing their efforts in creating a unified system that implements more rural signage throughout the province. A large majority of gallery members attended the meeting to show support of the project in SDG.

After officially launching in 2017, Farm 911 or The Emily Project has gained the support of many partner organizations and municipalities throughout the region, running as grassroots program. The initiative came to fruition following the passing of 7-year-old Emily Trudeau in 2014, who fell from and was struck by a tractor on her family farm near Tweed. Emergency services were unable to immediately locate the scene as the family was unable to provide dispatch with a civic address.

“Our goal is that all rural properties, whether buildings are present or not, have 911 signs posted,” said Resi Walt, Farm 911 committee member.

The committee is hoping that SDG Council will offer signs as a service to the community, encouraging rural landowners to use the signage and learn how to effectively call 911 services, while partnering with local agribusinesses that may support the program.

Walt said that in Northumberland County, all municipalities were able to come together to use one similar application form and price for residents that they felt was reasonable ($25 per rural residential property), backed by additional financial support from council.

“I really want to stress that, this should not get caught up in what the fee for this service could be…this is about rural safety for our farmers and anything over $100 is not going to be used by our farmers. Farmers could have up to 10 businesses that need to use these signs and they are not going to be able to afford to do this if it is (costly),” said Walt.

Walt said that the committee celebrated their first sign posted in the summer of 2018.

CAO Tim Simpson asked Walt to send him more information to provide to each municipality to establish a comprehensive form at a later time.

To learn more about the project, visit Farm911’s website by clicking the link here.

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