Calumet Medical Center's Progressive Agriculture Safety Day a huge success
08 / 14 / 2006
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
CHILTON, Wis. – More than 150 jaws dropped after volunteer, Heath Buechel, showed the destructive force of a common farm silo blower at the Calumet County Fairgrounds. A cantaloupe inserted into the machine was shredded and propelled more than 30 feet into the air to demonstrate the dangers of farm equipment. This was one of the many safety activities presented at the 2006 Calumet Medical Center’s Progressive Agriculture Safety Day.
Children age 8 to 12 years participated in 12 learning stations focusing on food safety, poison look-a-likes, hand tool safety, natural gas awareness, fire safety and what to do when home alone or lost in the outdoors.
Volunteers from Wisconsin Public Service, Fox Valley Technical College, Affinity Health System and area fire and police departments led children through each station. “It’s really important that children are aware of these situations and understand how to handle them,” states Karin Wille, education and community service coordinator at Calumet Medical Center. “By having members from the community lead the demonstrations, children can put a face to a situation and remember what to do if something would happen.”
But the event doesn’t just focus on safety; it also lets children have fun. St. Anna native Calvin Winkel, 11, said he would tell other children to participate in the safety day. “I liked it because it was a fun day with lots of awesome things to do. You meet a lot of new friends and you learn how to be safe.”
This is Calvin’s second year participating in the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. Calvin’s mother, Sandy Winkel, agrees, “As parents, it was so wonderful to listen to our son tell us what he learned at the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, from farm safety, to first aide, to fire safety. It’s great that the kids are excited about learning to be safe in so many different situations that they might be involved in their lifetime.”
At the end of the day, children went home with a goodie bag filled with information for parents, coloring books and tools to help keep them safe, such as a whistle and a bike helmet.
According to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, more than 22,600 injuries occurred to children under the age of 20 in 2001. An estimated 104 children die of agricultural injuries annually. Wille states, “Because we live in a rural community, the idea that our children can be injured or worse is a reality. No one wants that to happen, and that is why we host this program.”
This is Calumet Medical Center’s fifth year hosting the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day. Progressive Farmer magazine founded the program in 1995, with the mission to provide the resources local communities need to conduct one-day safety programs that are age-appropriate, hands-on, fun, and safe for children.
For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.