Fair prepares for emergencies


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — Persons visiting the fair can hope to never need a couple of new safety devices that have been put in place, but the fairgrounds will be better prepared for an emergency if they are needed. The announcement came at the May meeting of the Darke County Agricultural Society’s board of directors meeting on May 1.

Director Marla Werner announced the fairgrounds received an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) through a grant program administered by the Wayne Hospital Foundation and Midmark Corp. AED

An AED can cost as much as $1,200 and through this grant opportunity, the Agricultural Society paid a third of the cost, $400. Plus, Spirit Medical Transport will provide the training at no additional cost.

Werner said they will have to decide where to put the AED. The case is not weatherproof so it will need to be inside. She suggested putting it in the former Red Cross/First Aid Building. However, they will need to make sure it is accessible for all events on the fairgrounds.

That building is currently being redeveloped to hold the adult changing table and to be a sensory friendly room.

In addition to the AED, the Wayne Hospital Foundation donated 10 first aid kits to be put in the livestock barns during the fair. Werner said, “Last year, if you noticed, I missed the concert because my kiddo took a wild ride on a horse. One of the moms that was down there was a nurse and she was frustrated because there were so many medical personnel there. They knew what they needed to work on her, but they didn’t have it and they had to wait on the squad to get there. She went to the Foundation and said the fair needs first aid kits in all of the livestock barns.”

The first aid kits contain a variety of items including blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters, bandages, cervical collars and more. Each of the kits is valued at $187.

After the April meeting of the Darke County Agricultural Society’s Board of Directors, there were questions about what the fair would do for a skid loader during the 2024 fair.The board voted against purchasing a New Holland skid loader from North Star Hardware & Implement. The caretaker suggested the New Holland was difficult to see from, which presented a safety hazard for the operator and for people near the skid loader during the fair.

At the meeting in May, Director Christoph Keller revived the issue and motioned to purchase a John Deere skid loader from Koeniq Equipment. Keller said he talked with several people that had New Holland skid loaders and they agreed that good vision was lacking in that brand.

Part of Keller’s motion was to sell their current New Holland after the fair. He believes they can get as much, if not more, than what they would get from trading it in.

The motion didn’t lack controversy. Several directors were concerned about the possibility of being stuck with a $59,000 bill and not being able to sell the current skid loader. Director Jim Zumbrink questioned why they were getting bids if they weren’t going to go with lowest bid. Keller pointed out Koenig Equipment was one of the original bidders and they didn’t have to go with the lowest bid because of the safety issue with that brand.

The motion to purchase the John Deere was approved with Keller, Curtis Yount, Heidi May, Dean Neff, Russ Skaggs and Marla Werner voting in favor.

Following the approval of the motion, Zumbrink stated, “I will never ask another dealer to bid again.”

The Darke County Fair Board is expected to begin meeting twice a month in June. The next meeting is scheduled for June 5, 7:30 p.m., Secretary’s Office, Darke County Fairgrounds.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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