Youngsters who attended the Farm Safety 4 Just Kids Thursday night sat spellbound as they witnessed scenarios that simulated farm accidents.  

After opening comments and a proclamation presented by state Rep. Jim Pitts, John Paul Dineen III, with the assistance of Cody Hoeinghaus, demonstrated how easily a giant mower could drop on a child riding a bicycle. With the help of a stuffed toy monkey, the two also demonstrated the danger of shaft-driven mowers, post-hole diggers and tillers, showing just how easily a child could get caught.

Dineen provided sobering information concerning lawnmower blades.

“This blade, which weighs more than 25 pounds, rotates at 150 miles per hour,” Dineen said.

Youth especially took note of the demonstration by Dineen when he smashed a giant front-end loader shovel that weighed in excess of 1,000 pounds down, exploding a basketball. He also simulated the damage done by flying rocks by pouring M&M candy into a blender and having it scattered.

“That is what happens when rocks get caught under a mower,” Dineen said. “Flying rocks can cut you up pretty bad.”

Greg Beller and Ginger Mulkey, who demonstrated flowing grain safety, explained the dangers of suffocation by falling into a grain bin that is unloading.

“What happens is, if someone opens the chute at the bottom of a trailer, rail car or silo loaded with corn, grain or fertilizer, it always unloads from the top,” Beller said. “If a person falls into the top of it, the pressure of the unloading grain will suck him down into the center of it and the pressure will squeeze him so tight he won’t be able to breathe and he will suffocate.”

Beller said safety equipment has been implemented to prevent such disasters, such as a bar over the load of grain with cables that can be attached to a person to prevent him from being sucked into the emptying grain.

Beller, who works at Boyce Feed and Grain, had a miniature trailer filled with corn and a small plastic figure to demonstrate the danger of flowing grain.

Nynke Duke, whose nephew, Cassidy Jones, 16, lost his life last July in a car-tractor accident, was on hand to demonstrate the dangers of the open road as it relates to farm equipment.

“Drivers must always observe the (orange triangle sign) on the back of farm equipment traveling down the highway and slow down,” Duke said.

John Paul III and Heather Dineen, lost their 5-year-old son, John Paul IV  “Little Johnny” in a farm accident Nov. 26, 2006.  

For further information on Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, e-mail dineen.heather@gmail.com.

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com