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Farm safety a serious matter for two CFA members
CFA is just one of the many things that Baddaginnie members and good mates Rod Cook and Phil Rees have in common.
Not only are both men, previous Brigade Captains and long term members of Baddaginnie Fire Brigade, they are also valued members of their local community and passionate farmers who know just how important safe farm practices are.
Having grown up on his 1000 acre property as a third generation farmer, Rod recognises the importance of eliminating the risks and educating people about safety on a farm.
“I’ve tried to educate the children since they were little to be aware of the risks, aware with machinery and aware with animals,” Rod said.
“Machinery can be very dangerous and animals can be very unpredictable. It’s all about eliminating the risk.”
Rod said it’s important to be aware of your property risks and have a plan in place for emergencies.
“Our home is on a slight hill and we’re aware that fire travels quicker uphill than on flat country. We’ve installed sprinklers around the property including the roof, have a generator on standby and we always stay connected to the brigade to help reduce the fire risk throughout summer,” Rod said.
“We make sure to keep paddocks around the house short during summer and move stock into safe areas during high risk periods.”
“We have a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” attitude and we will take what comes.”
Phil, who calls himself more of a hobby farmer shares Rod’s attitudes and believes the key lies in researching and keeping up to date with the latest industry developments.
“It’s important to learn about safe farming practices by looking, reading and researching. That’s a big one, keeping up to date with any research,” Phil said.
“If you don’t have the right protective equipment then you’ll only damage yourself. We all want to live forever but some practices can shorten your life.”
“Field days are great opportunity for organisations and farmers across the state to come together, exchange knowledge and keep up to date with the latest farming developments.”
Both men are still active CFA members and emphasised the importance of farmers ensuring their property is accessible to emergency service vehicles.
“From a firefighting point of view, one of the biggest problems we have is gaining access to farms,” Phil said.
“Some CFA trucks have issues getting access to farms or they don’t have enough room to turn around.
“It’s so important to ensure that emergency vehicles can access your property and it’s better to get prepared before the summer season than wait until it’s too late.”