GLANDORF — Third-grade students are learning about farm safety this week during a camp at the Glandorf home of Dale and Ruth Gerding.
The 14th year of the camp, held Tuesday and today, is hosting 488 students.
“We will have had 4,000 students take part in the camp, including the students this year,” said Ruth Gerding. She said the farm camp has grown in the type of safety lessons provided for the students.
“When we first started it was about water and pond safety, lawnmower safety, and tractor and PTO safety,” Gerding said. “Since then we have added presentations on poison look-alikes, electrical safety, smokeless tobacco and gun safety.”
Students went from building to building and sat on straw bales as they heard different presentations and learned safety tips for the farm and home.
Jason Hedrick, Ohio State University Extension agent, provided a visual mock-up of what happens if an individual is sucked down into a grain wagon. St. Rita’s Ambulatory Care Center nurse Marge Kohls talked to the third-graders about “pretty” poisons — look-alikes that can be resemble candies or drinks.
Dee Renollet, the safety compliance manager for Paulding Putnam Electric, talked to the children about the dangers of electricity. Putnam County Sheriff's Deputy Marv Schwiebert demonstrated how to safely assist someone who may be drowning.
Each camp ended with a Lifeflight landing from St. Rita’s Medical Center. The children were given the opportunity to see inside the helicopter and ask a pilot, nurse and paramedic questions about their job.
The Putnam County Health Department initiated the Farm Safety Camp 14 years ago. The event continues to be available due to the support of agencies and businesses, including Ag Credit, Farm Bureau, Glandorf Warehouse, Paulding-Putnam Electrical Cooperative, Putnam County OSU Extension, Putnam County Office of Public Safety, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, St. Rita’s Putnam County Ambulatory Care Center, Northwest Tractor, Dr. Jack Winters, Miller City-New Cleveland FFA students, Glandorf Fire Department and Putnam County EMS.
All students also received a Farm Safety T-shirt that was made available through donations from the Putnam County Optimists and Ag Credit.