BY JUNE NORVILA
As school classes arrived to view displays and demonstrations at Bentley Ag Society’s safety awareness at Blindman Valley Ag Centre, it became a bustling, noisy, busy place, Mar. 11.
“It (the event) was very good. The organizers did a marvelous job organizing and setting it up and our volunteer base was very good,” said Joan Dickau, Bentley Agriculture Society past president who, along with Cora Knutson, helped welcome people as they came through the door.
Each session was 20 minutes long.
Fire department members manned the Fire Safety booth and showed some of their equipment.
An RCMP member had kids practising hand signals at the Bike Safety area.
Kids hunted with a detector to find what might be hidden under the ground at the TransCanada display.
At the Fortis Alberta electrical hazard display kids and some adults jumped back when the first sizzle and a snap showed what could happen with a live wire.
One of the most interesting interactive displays illustrated the difference between an unprotected person’s skull and the head of a person wearing a properly fitted helmet when bike or motorbike riding, playing hockey or skating, when horseback riding, or anytime a helmet should be worn.
When a raw egg inside a plastic zip-lock bag was dropped on the floor, it broke and the inside oozed out. When a raw egg fitted with a proper fitting mini-size Styrofoam/foam helmet was dropped, nothing happened. In fact even when it was thrown higher or thrown harder against the floor, nothing happened. If the helmet was not fitted properly there was some protection, but a risk. With an improperly tightened ‘chin strap’ for example, the egg (head) could slip out and could crack or break.
Jennifer Johnson helped students understand how it might seem like fun to play in a truckload or bin full of grain, but how difficult it could be to ever get out. It could swallow you up like quick sand. No matter how hard the children pulled, they couldn’t get the board attached to the end of rope out of the bottom of a simple bucket of grain.
Outside there was bigger equipment including a tractor, an ATV, and more.
Chemical look-a-likes showed how a dangerous chemical or liquid could be easily confused with a safe food or drink item.
Almost 350 Bentley school students attended, as well as approximately 25 staff and a few parent volunteers.
Grades K-5 went through the stations in the morning and the rest of the grades up to Grade 12 in the afternoon. The school was impressed with the entire event and various stations engaging for everyone.
Walk-ins of an extra 35-40 adults, small children not included in the count, made the attendance count over 400 overall.
Beef-on-a-bun, a bag of chips and a bottle of water were supplied to each person by Servus Credit Union and attendees received a cloth Ag for Life bag with a few free handouts. Grades K-5 had their lunches delivered to the school while the older students and public-at-large ate their lunches at the ag centre.
Great volunteers, supportive businesses, generous sponsors, local ag society executive and members, and a farm safety grant made the free event possible.
A similar day was sponsored by the Bentley Ag Society in March 2011.