Illinois Farms Get Individualized Maps to Avert Emergencies

By LINDSEY TANNER | April 26, 2011

A rural health educator in east-central Illinois has launched a program to help improve farm safety.

The program involves creating detailed, computer-generated maps of farms that show things like power-turnoffs, fuel tanks and chemical containers. The maps are placed in little black plastic tubes attached to power poles.

When firefighters and others respond to emergencies, they can use the maps to locate potential hazards. The hope is the maps will save minutes and perhaps property, livestock and lives.

Similar programs exist in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Amy Rademaker of Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana started the Illinois program. She grew up on a farm and hopes the idea catches on elsewhere.

Thomasboro farmer Joe Burke says anything farmers can do to get a leg up on safety is worthwhile.

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