University of Illinois Extension

Agricultural Incident and Rescue Training

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Colleges of Agriculture and Engineering
Department of Agricultural Engineering
338 Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building
1304 West Pennsylvania Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: 217-333-3570
Fax: 217-244-0323

Farm Incident Rescue

Program Outline

  • Introduction
    1. The value of this type of training
    2. Review of presentation
    3. Review of the types of accidents and injuries occurring on Illinois farms
  • Responding to a Farm Accident (overview)
    1. Information needed from the person making request
    2. Preparation of the accident site
    3. Stabilizing victim
    4. Extrication of victim
  • Farm Machinery Extrication
    1. Tractors
    2. Combines and corn pickers
    3. Balers
    4. Forage equipment
    5. Field cultivation Equipment
    6. Stationary farm equipment
    7. Miscellaneous
  • Grain Storage Extrication
    1. Grain drowning
    2. Toxic atmospheres
    3. Grain augers
  • Extrication from Toxic Atmospheres
    1. Livestock confinements buildings
    2. Silos
    3. Anhydrous ammonia
    4. Pesticides
  • Conclusions
    1. Other training resources
    2. Sharing experiences


Observation of Farm Equipment

This may include any equipment available including but not limited to different tractors, combines, balers, silage choppers, forage wagons, grain augers, grain bins, confinement buildings, feed grinders, silos, anhydrous ammonia nurse tanks with tool bar, anhydrous ammonia supply tanks, tillage equipment, etc. If the group is larger than 30 participants it would be suggested to set up various stations (3 to 8) so that the group could be split into smaller groups of 10 to 15 people. Each station should be staffed with an individual familiar with the particular equipment or process at the station who could discuss and demonstrate the operation of the equipment and possible locations were a person is most likely to be involved in an accident. The persons attending a station could be farmers, machinery dealers or technicians. The groups should be rotated about every 15 to 20 minutes.

Rescue Demonstrations

Mannequins or dummies could be entangled into such equipment as an unguarded PTO hooked to an implement, old corn head or corn picker, old baler, old auger, etc. Also, if an old tractor can be obtained it could be overturned on a dummy for extrication demonstration purposes. On rare occasions rescue from grain bins and silos have been demonstrated. Old farm equipment is often difficult to obtain. But the farmer or machinery dealer providing it can normally obtain a tax deduction on its value as a contribution. The demonstrations should be conducted under the leadership of an EMT instructor or at minimum one team of rescuers should be prepared to demonstrate rescue techniques with the participants. I will be available to make comments and suggestions but I do not profess to possess in depth knowledge on the use of extrication equipment. If there is adequate equipment, participants in the group may be allowed to practice extrication procedures. But this is often not possible because of the limited amount of equipment that is normally available. Additionally, it is strongly encouraged that various types of rescue tools be demonstrated for similar extrication situations. Not all rescue units may have the more expensive equipment.

Programs can range in length from 2 to 8 hours. The length depends on the number of topics covered and whether or not the program includes demonstrations and/or observation of farm equipment.

The following equipment is needed to conduct the lecture discussion portions of the program:

  • Screen
  • Carousel slide projector (extension cords if needed)
  • VHS video recorder and TV monitor(s), we can provide a video projector for large groups

If you decide to include observation and/or demonstration of farm equipment the host will be expected to obtain the farm equipment. Additionally, the host is responsible for obtaining or making the mannequins or dummies that would be needed if demonstrations were to be conducted.

There is a 36 page resource manual titled Farm Accident Rescue that normally (depending on current supplies) can be made available to participants. The cost of the manual is currently $5 per copy. Another companion publication titled First on the Scene is written primarily for the person who may initially respond to a farm accident. This 46 page publication is also $5.

An additional text Rural Rescue and Emergency Care is highly recommended. This book is available from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1-800-346-2267,

After you have had an opportunity to review this outline, I will be glad to discuss it further with you, if you have additional questions or concerns.

Robert A. Aherin, PhD
Extension Agricultural Safety Specialist

Chip Petrea, PhD
Extension Specialist - Agricultural Safety and Health