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Local students get hand-on farm safety training

From staying away from overhead power lines to being careful around a tractor, hundreds of local students got a crash course in farm safety this week. Agriculture for Life and Grande Prairie & Area Safe Communities once again teamed up to teach grade 6 students how to watch for and deal with a number of hazards they could come across in a rural setting.

Local businesses like Rocky Mountain Equipment, St. John Ambulance, UFA and ATCO were on hand to share their expertise with the youth. ATCO Electric Manager of Distribution Operations for the South Peace District Larry Gibson says safety is a top priority.

“We want to make sure that people are safe when they’re working out there. The message is how to identify if there is a problem, or how to work safely around those facilities, stay your clearances that you’re required around the power lines, and if you have questions or if you need further information, to contact us.”

Along with power lines, the students learn about safety surrounding dugouts, chemicals and underground utilities. Gibson stresses the importance of teaching children about safety when they’re young.

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“It’s critical. It’s so amazing that we can get these programs going and reach out to that many young minds out there to teach them the safety around power lines, and hopefully they carry those learnings through their lives and possibly even teach some of the older people around them.”

The demonstrations are put on by volunteers and safety experts, and are free thanks to sponsorship by Ag for Life. More than 600 students made their way through Safety City this week, with more to come throughout May and June for the Barnyard and Boots program.

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