Scanning technology can provide emergency responders a farm’s specific information — like where the power cutoffs can be found —while saving time and lives.

That’s according to Jerry Minor, fire chief at the Pittsville (WI) Fire Department, which helped develop and test a pilot project using that technology.

Farm Mapping to Assist, Protect and Prepare Emergency Responders (Farm MAPPER) was initiated by the National Farm Medicine Center (NFMC), Marshfield, WI.

“Emergency personnel responding to farm fires face the challenge of fighting a fire in complex and unknown environments,” says Minor. “They face hazards such as fuels, solvents, pesticides, caustics and exploding welding and gas-storage cylinders.”

QR code technology can help firefighters quickly learn where water sources and power cutoffs are located.

Scanned-in, critical information on a farm can be provided through a QR code sticker placed on a mailbox pole or other nearby location. The matrix bar codes can be read using smartphones or other devices, such as tablets, with reader applications. The information is security-protected.

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