Toolkit Aimed at Helping Rural First Responders Available to Community Organizations Nationwide

Toolkit Aimed at Helping Rural First Responders Available to Community Organizations Nationwide

Free emergency action tube toolkits help first responders protect life and property of rural residents

Carle When emergencies happen in rural areas, response time often depends on a small number of volunteer EMTs and firefighters serving a large geographic area. To help rural first responders and residents prepare for an emergency and act quickly, the Center for Rural Health and Farm Safety at Carle has developed the free Emergency Action Tube Toolkit, to help rural community organizations implement this lifesaving program.

An Emergency Action Tube contains a map detailing potential hazards and key points of a farm or rural property. The sealed tube is mounted on the main meter pole, thus allowing emergency responders quick access to important details.

The Toolkit contains a sample, a complete manual and templates for implementing the program along with educational materials to help the coordinating organization explain the benefits of the Emergency Action Tube to local residents.

“We believe the Emergency Action Tube project will save more lives, preserve more properties, and protect emergency responders,” said Amy Rademaker, farm safety specialist at Carle. “By providing accurate information in a central location firefighters know the risks and how to address them. Being prepared can truly make the difference.”

To install an Emergency Action Tube, the coordinating organization works with the resident to collect information and sketch maps to identify the location of buildings, grain bins, livestock, fences, fuel and chemical storage, power lines, electrical panels, water supply and septic systems. This process typically takes only about 10-20 minutes. The coordinating organization later mounts the tube with a digitized copy of the map on the property’s main meter pole.

Emergency Action Tubes are for any person living in a particular emergency response district that rents or owns a rural property, although the coordinating organization is able to set more specific criteria for eligible properties.

Thanks to a generous gift from Monsanto in 2012, the Toolkit is available no cost to fire departments, emergency response agencies, or other community organizations such as church groups, 4-H groups, FFA chapters or others that wish to provide Emergency Action Tubes to their community.

The Carle Center for Rural Health and Farm Safety began developing the Emergency Action Tube project in 2001. Since 1991, the Center has provided farm safety and injury prevention education and resources to residents of east central Illinois. Other efforts of The Center include Progressive Ag Safety Days, school assemblies, CPR and first aid classes, and emergency response courses for farm families and emergency responders.

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