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A Life Saving Partnership

A Life Saving Partnership: Tukituki Land Care and NZ Red Cross empower farmers with essential first aid skills

In an exciting collaboration, local catchment collective Tukituki Land Care recently teamed up with the NZ Red Cross to provide Central Hawke’s Bay farmers with essential life saving skills.

This initiative has seen nearly 100 farmers complete a free Farmer First Aid training course, which was specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced daily on the farm.

“I now feel a lot more equipped to handle a medical situation when out on the farm”, said Ash McCormick who attended one of the training sessions in Takapau where she works as a sheep and beef farmer. “I will definitely be updating my emergency first aid kits too”.

The three-hour course, delivered by an experienced Red Cross trainer, covered crucial topics such as CPR, defibrillator use, and how to deal with crushing injuries, broken bones, bleeding, and poisoning.

Tukituki Land Care was thrilled by the overwhelming response from local farmers, which led to the addition of two extra training dates. In total, five sessions were held across Takapau, Elsthorpe, Ōtāne, and Tikokino.

“Farm work often involves working with heavy machinery, animals, and hazardous chemicals, meaning that when things go wrong, they can go really wrong”, says Richard Hilson, chair of Tukituki Land Care. “On rural properties, waiting for professional medical assistance is not always an option. We wanted to provide a tailored first aid course to empower local farmers to successfully manage on-farm emergencies until medical professionals arrive”.

Farm-related accidents are a significant concern in rural New Zealand. Since 2018 there have been at least four quad bike related deaths in Hawke’s Bay and ACC accepts about 23,000 claims for farm-related injuries each year in New Zealand. * Common incidents include bike and machinery accidents, animal-related injuries, and falls, all of which can result in severe injuries or fatalities.

Dairy farmers Keri and Nick Lourie also attended the course in Takapau. “The course was very relevant to our rural lives and businesses and we especially appreciated being able to learn about and use the defibrillator”, said Keri.

The collaboration between Tukituki Land Care and the NZ Red Cross is a prime example of how local organisations can work together to address specific community needs. The farmers who participated in the training sessions are now better equipped to handle emergencies, which in turn, fosters a safer and more resilient rural community.

Jenny Green, who facilitated the sessions on behalf of the Red Cross, emphasised the broader impact of the training: "By empowering farmers with these critical skills, we're not just helping individuals; we're strengthening entire communities. In rural areas, where medical help might not be immediately available, having trained first responders can make all the difference."

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