The National FARMEDIC Training Program has been working in agricultural and rural incident response training for over two decades. Initial activities began in 1981 when the New York Farm Bureau, Empire Nine (a regional emergency services training program), Farm Family Insurance Company and rural fire/rescue/EMS personnel got together to discuss the void in farm rescue education. Two troubling regional trends instigated this gathering of forces: (1) farm machinery extrications were often taking a long time – too long – to complete, and (2) rescuers were injured, some fatally, during rescues and fire-ground operations on farms.
From the onset, a train-the-trainer approach was adopted as the strategy to educate rural rescuers to respond to fire and medical emergencies specific to farms. In the 1990’s, the National FARMEDIC Training Program partnered with Alfred State College, Alfred, NY, and the NYS Department of Health, Albany, NY. This partnership generated a major grant from U.S. Health and Human Services to train 200 instructors nationwide. Since its inception, more than 28,000 rural fire/rescue/EMS, hospital personnel and farm community members in 48 states and Canada have been trained how to respond to farm emergencies.
In July of 2007 the program was transferred to its current home at McNeil & Co., located in Cortland, NY. McNeil & Co. is an industry leader in insurance and risk services for fire and emergency medical service agencies across the country. The new home will provide the program with consistent management, resources and vision for the future. It will also provide for growth in the current offerings and new programs as we move forward.
Many individuals, organizations and agencies have contributed to the success of the program to date. The commitment of all of these is responsible for the lives of the agricultural community and emergency responders that have been saved to date. A continued effort of all of these will ensure the continued success of the National FARMEDIC Training program.