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Farm 911 rollout to return to council horseshoe

Emily Trudeau

A representative from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture is concerned a bid to get Farm 911 rolling in her home town is not moving forward.

Resi Walt told Committee of the Whole Thursday that she first addressed council in November 2017 regarding Farm 911 – the Emily Project – designed to help improve emergency services in rural communities.

The Emily Project puts 911 signs on farm properties that don’t have buildings to make it easier for first responders to answer calls.

The movement began after seven-year-old Emily Trudeau died after she fell from, and was struck by a moving tractor on her parent’s beef farm near Tweed in 2014. First responders could not immediately find the scene of the accident.

Municipal staff noted there’s $20,000 budgeted for the program but full roll out was put on hold because it would cost more than $200,000 to put signs on all farm entrances in the county. It was noted some farmers have multiple entrances on their lands.

Councillor Janice Maynard said the problem wasn’t the cost of a sign but is related to a $400 entrance permit fee.

Councillor Phil Prinzen, a farmer, said the tragic death of young Emily must haunt the family each and every day and joined other councillors in urging support to get the project moving forward.

Emily’s parents, Scott and Angela, and her sisters, helped launch The Emily Project in tribute, at the Hastings County Plowing Match and Farm Show in 2017.

Several municipalities have come onboard with various methods of implementation – including Stirling Rawdon this week on June 11 – Emily’s birth date.

Objectives of the project include:
-creating a unified system for acquiring 911 signs across all four counties.
-Persuading municipalities to offer the signs as a service to the community.
– Encourage rural landowners to use the service.
– Develop resources to teach property owners how to contact emergency services efficiently.
– Promote the program through digital, print and social media.

A full staff report outlining options to implement FARM 911 is expected at the first July Committee of the Whole meeting.

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