Area students gather for second Progressive Ag Safety Day for interactive activities, demonstrations about safety

Students from area schools learned ways to be safe and how to respond during various situations at the second Progressive Ag Safety Day presented by the Marion County University of Missouri Extension at Clover Road Christian Church on Tuesday and Thursday.

Wyatt Miller, Agronomy Specialist and area County Program Director with University of Missouri Extension, said the second annual event brought together students from even more schools than the 2018 event. This year, students visited from Eugene Field Elementary School, A.D. Stowell Elementary School, Western Community Schools in Barry, Ill., Holy Family School, Monroe City R-I, Ralls County R-II, Holy Rosary School, Classical Conservations Home School Group, Veterans Elementary School, Oakwood Elementary School, Marion County R-II Schools and Mark Twain Elementary School. Miller said that the second event included a variety of resources to show area youth how to stay safe and how to respond in the event of an emergency.

“It's a good spot here for it,” he said.

Inside and outside the church, tents and booths were set up including water safety and a rollover simulator from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a sun safety relay to put on safe clothing from Hannibal Regional, a demonstration of power-take-off guard safety from Sydenstricker of Palmyra and the Marion County MU Extension, presentations about large animal safety and firearm safety by Marion County MU Extension experts, lawn equipment safety from Sydenstricker, ATV safety, electrical safety from Northeast Power, railroad safety from Operation Lifesaver and a house fire simulator and extinguisher simulation from the Hannibal Fire Department.

Engineer Michael Forrest said that as youth get older, they are cooking more things at home and taking on other responsibilities — sharing real-life scenarios and knowledge can help them stay safe and be prepared in the event of an emergency.

“Learning how to either be safe at home or use a fire extinguisher, definitely prepares them for that occasional moment where something might happen, and they can basically take care of themselves and know how to handle the situation,” he said. “Lacking the knowledge is probably the biggest thing for these kids, because it is new to them. So, I'm hoping by doing this we can inform them and show them how to handle the situation if it arises.”

Sixth-grader Arley Sumpter cheered after she extinguished a simulated fire. Forrest timed each student and reminded them to use the PASS method — pull, aim, squeeze and sweep.

In the church sanctuary, Marion County Ambulance District Paramedics Kyle Bowman and Jason Darnell helped students from Western Community School fill up and decorate their own first aid kits. Fourth graders Addison Bareis and Luke Rucker enjoyed getting to take home their first aid kits home after learning first aid tips.

“Making our own, listening to them talk about it, getting to decorate it — it's been really fun,” Bareis said. “And just having the stuff at our house in case we need it is going to be great because we get hurt a lot — we're kids — we do a lot of reckless things.” Luke Rucker agreed with his classmate.

“I like the first aid kit, because my mom works at the hospital in Hannibal, so that's pretty cool,” he said. “It is very nice of them to donate us first aid kits.”

The Marion County University of Missouri Extension officials wished to thank the local sponsors that made the 2019 event possible: Gosney Long Term Care, United Community Banks, FCS Financial, Sydenstricker, Bleigh Farms, Coswald Crow Agency, Clover Road Christian Church, Culligan of Hannibal, Marion County Farm Bureau, Marion County Soil & Water Conservation District, Hannibal Regional, The Rebel Pig, Farmers Elevator and Exchange, Shelter Insurance, Eddie Lennox, American Family Insurance, JR Derksen Agency, Refreshment Services Pepsi, BASF, Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri, Quinn Farm Supply Inc., United State Bank, Commerce Bank and F&M Bank and Trust.

Bareis and Rucker agreed that their first visit to the event gave them hands-on experience and knowledge they needed to have to be safe and prepared.

“We've had a lot of fun,” she said. “One of my favorite ones was when you learn about car safety.” Rucker gained some lasting knowledge as well.

“I'm going to remember to always wear a life jacket and always wear my seat belt,” he said.

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com