Maryville’s Northwest Technical School formed a partnership with the St. Joseph Safety and Health Council to bring lessons on safety to area elementary students.

University of Missouri Extension Livestock Specialist Jim Humphrey explains the mechanisms of PTOs to Northeast Nodaway and West Nodaway students.

The two entities began working together to provide safety training to industry workers in the area and grew to incorporate a program for children. The St. Joseph Safety and Health Council has previously hosted Safety Acres in the St. Joseph area for several years.

This is the second year the program has been offered to Nodaway County students in third through fifth grades. The tech school extended the invitation to its 13 sending schools as well as nearby schools including North Andrew, Stanberry and Albany. The school expected more than 200 students to attend.

Members of the Maryville FFA chapter served as escorts for the student groups throughout the day and helped set up and serve the hamburger lunch provided by the Nodaway County Cattlemen’s Association.

Students rotated through a series of safety stations. Missouri Highway Patrol Troop H brought a rollover crash simulator on which a truck cab was suspended on a turning mechanism. Using a test dummy, Public Information Officer Jake Angle demonstrated what happens when a seat belt is not worn. The simulator showed students how easily a person could be thrown from a car and smashed.

At the tractor power take-off (PTO) station, students learned what a PTO shaft is and how it works. They learned how to approach heavy machinery and how to make sure the operator notices they are nearby.

At the end of the PTO presentation, University of Missouri Extension Livestock Specialist Jim Humphrey allowed the running PTO to catch a string tied to a test dummy to show students how easy it is to get caught in a PTO and what happens when you do.

During the grain bin presentation, students learned how to create a pocket of air with their hands and how to pant like a dog to increase their chances of survival if sucked into a pile of grain. The St. Joseph Fire Department brought a smoke simulator, teaching students how to crawl low enough to be under the line of smoke. Other stations included water, ATV, electrical and farm animal safety.

“Safety Acres is a great regional event in NW Missouri that we are proud to host at Northwest Technical School.  What is cool is none of us, including all of our great partners, will ever know the true impact we have had on saving a young person’s life.  This is why we sponsor and support this two-day event,” Northwest Technical School Director Jeremy Ingraham stated.