By Adam K. Thiel
Many of us raised in urban areas think of farms as peaceful and idyllic places where life follows a different pace and risks are minimal.
Although I only spent a short time as a firefighter covering a rural area, during that period I came to see farms as potentially dangerous places with a wide range of hazards including confined spaces, hazardous materials, and specialized machinery.
A number of firefighter fatalities over the years have occurred on farms as a result of flammable liquid/gas releases, silo fires/explosions, and confined space emergencies.
While it's important for fire departments to regularly perform pre-incident surveys of farms whenever possible, just like any other occupancy, providing these on-site "emergency action tubes" makes a lot of sense.
In fact, I think it's a great idea for all types of occupancies, since on-site documentation is readily available to mutual-aid companies or those who might be unfamiliar with that first-due area.