Busy harvest brings new awareness of farm accidents - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Busy harvest brings new awareness of farm accidents


After a late start, farmers are getting started with harvest season. And while fatalities are down in the state of Illinois, farm accidents are still a dangerous part of life in rural America.

It's a busy day out on the combine for farmer Alan Ippensen, and he says he expects it to be that way for several more weeks.

"Minimum 12-hour days, sometimes you'll push the limits. You'll be going from sunrise from sunset, sometimes you'll be going until nine or ten o'clock at the latest," he estimated.

And he says even with the hectic pace - preventing accidents must be a high priority. He says, even in the last ten years there have been huge advances in safety technology on their heavy machinery. But he and his partner, his dad, make sure they know the ins and outs of it in case their was an emergency. 

"Like the grain dryer, if there would be an accident, we each know where the power source is. We know where the fuel source is," he said. 

Ippensen says he also always has his cell phone in the fields - both to stay in contact with his dad, and also to call first responders. Assistant Fire Chief Darren Smith at the Tri-Township Fire Department says that's a great habit, because should there be an emergency it's going to take them at least ten to 15 minutes to get there.  

"If you do have an emergency, probably the number one thing is - notify us. Get us going," he suggested.

And because response time in a rural area can take a while, Smith says farmers should also help emergency responders find their way.

"A hundred-acre field and just telling us where it's at is a big deal, or having someone at the road to direct us." 

Ippensen says at the end of the day, it's all about being vigilant - even when your mind may be on your work.

"Just be on your toes on the time, be cautious, common sense, really," Ippensen said. 




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