July 27, 2016 Edition

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Emergency responders including John Farmer (clockwise from right) of the Walnut Ridge Fire Department, Tyler Edlemon of the Joiner Fire Department, Lindsay Simmons of the Hoxie Fire Department and Bruce Hill of the WRFD participate in a tractor rollover accident drill Sunday during the second day of a Farmedic training course at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport.
Submitted Photo

Farmedic training
held at WR Airport

Agriculture, big business in Arkansas, is also one of the most dangerous industries because of the array of equipment, chemicals and outdoor conditions.

First responders in the Northeast Arkansas area had the opportunity to enhance their skills with assisting farm accident victims during a two-day training session Saturday and Sunday at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport.

The Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education at Arkansas State University, in partnership with McNeil and Company and Black River Technical College, presented the course at BRTC's training site, located in Walnut Ridge. The course, called Farmedic, was funded by Agricultural Safety Healthy America at no cost to the participants.

"Farmedic is designed for first responders who may potentially be challenged with responding to an agriculture-related emergency," according to Dr. Brent Cox, assistant professor of disaster preparedness and emergency management program.

The Farmedic opportunity followed quickly behind a June 27 decision by the Walnut Ridge Airport Commission to proceed with negotiations for a lease on 80 acres on airport property, following a meeting with university representatives. The airport facility is one facet of the proposed disaster training facility, which also will include a training zone at Imboden.

The ASU Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education is an official regional training center recognized by the American Medical Association and National Disaster Life Support Foundation.

The Center was created in 2005 in response to an unmet need for disaster education within the health professions. It offers courses in basic and advanced disaster life support, homeland security and emergency management.

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