Injuries and medical emergencies can be common at your farm. While some emergencies may be caused by incomplete planning or failure to follow the plan in place, others may occur simply because of nature. From someone not drinking enough water on a hot day before they visit your farm to a yellow jacket sting because it is September – it will happen. If your plan is not in place, an easily managed situation can get out of hand by involving too many employees and guests and/or by not communicating that the emergency situation is over.
Start to think about a process that includes:
- Planning & Educating (employees & visitors)
- Conducing Specific Employee Training
- Establishing Emergency Protocol
- Enabling Emergency Vehicle Assess To All Areas
- Having an Employee Identified To Direct Emergency Responders
- Having Emergency Information Available
- Filling Out Incident Report Forms
- Work with insurance agents and others to develop one or use their template.
- Search for forms used by other farms, make it your own and run it by your insurance agent.
If emergency does occur, it is important to think ahead and have a emergency protocol already in place. In this protocol, it should say who is able to make that call to 911. Is it an individual in each area or does it have to go through a central office. (This becomes a problem when 911 dispatcher gets 10 to 20 calls about an incident.) In this plan, it will state how emergency vehicles are able to access all areas of the farm, where gates are located that are wide enough to get equipment and stretchers to the affected guest. It’s best to have one person identified in an area to help direct emergency responders so they get a consistent message from one person. Make sure on each activity the emergency information is available and phone numbers, directions to the farm, and the address is also on hand.
After the emergency has been addressed, then it is time to fill out a detailed incident report form to assess how your protocol is working and answer any questions that may arise later.
- Determine if 9-1-1 needs called.
- Unless trained, do not render assistance above first aid.
- Do not move the person unless they are in danger.
- Clear area of unnecessary people.
- Have someone meet/escort EMTs.
- Limit communication with injured person to quiet reassurances.
- After person’s immediate needs are met, remain to assist with EMTs. Record pertinent information and complete an incident report form.
- Inform other customers that situation has been addressed by professionals.
If 9-1-1 not necessary:
- Ask family member to provide minimal first aid as required.
- After person’s immediate needs are met, remain to assist family member.
- Record pertinent information, and complete an incident report form.
One way to prevent potential emergencies is to establish basic procedures for activities at the farm. Once such procedure is handwashing. Handwashing prevents the spread of germs. When dealing with animals at the farm and food being sold for consumption, coupled with vulnerable populations (kids, grandparents, pregnant women) – it is paramount to have proper facilities and procedures for hand washing.