UMASH Success Story: Training Rural Firefighters

UMASH Success Story: Training Rural Firefighters



People who work in agriculture are 8-10 times more likely to die on the job than the average U.S. worker. Inadequate numbers of safety consultants exist to assist farmers in making their farms safer.

In pilot research, farmers expressed willingness to make changes to behavior and operations if given advice from their local fire department.


Firefighters are trusted leaders in rural and agricultural communities, and strong partnerships between firefighters and farmers can help make farms safer. The Rural Firefighters Delivering Agricultural Safety and Health (RF-DASH) project equips firefighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to share agricultural health and safety knowledge in their communities.

RF-DASH uses a train-the-trainer approach, with a curriculum that is in line with many National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. The five-part training covers::

  1. Introduction to Agricultural Emergencies.
  2. Preplanning and Mapping Farms with nfmcfarmmapper.com. A pre-plan map of farms to expedite response times.
  3. Farm Hazard Analysis with Saferfarm.org – A hazard analysis tool to recommend abatement of common farm hazard.
  4. Farm First Aid – train bystanders on immediate response to an emergency while waiting for first responders.
  5. Approaching the Farm Community

RF-DASH Program Highlight

Over 70 firefighters/EMS from over 10 states have been trained. They have gone on to educate many additional personnel. The media has picked up on the success of this program, with articles in key agricultural outlets.


NFMC Farm Mapper Program Highlight Video

“The opportunity to help the people who do so much for our communities is something we wouldnever say ‘no’ to. We were glad to learn ways we could be safer here, just by hosting the group on the farm.”

– Paul and Barb Liebenstein, Wolf Creek Dairy

“Excellent course. Very useful information and great ideas for pre-planning farm emergencies.”

-Wisconsin EMS Association participant