WEATHER ALERT: Farmers asked to assist emergency responders with tractors

The Sussex County Emergency Operations Center late Wednesday night put out the call for additional farmers throughout the county to lend equipment and aid so fire and ambulance crews can reach residents in an emergency.

EOC Director Joseph L. Thomas said emergency planners are in critical need of heavy-duty machinery, such as large tractors, that would lead the way for fire trucks, ambulances and EMS trying to respond to emergencies down snow drift-covered roadways.

Tractors would be strategically positioned at fire stations throughout the county, and volunteer farmers would be placed with their tractors or put on “stand-by” notice to assist first responders, he said.

Many in the farm community are already assisting in the effort, said Delaware Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee, but county officials say more help is needed.

“This is our 9-1-1 call to the local farming community,” Thomas said. “As this storm rages on, we must still have the capabilities to respond to the public as quickly as possible. We cannot do this without a help from those who have the equipment, and farmers are this county’s greatest asset.”

The EOC and the County Fire Chiefs Association are asking farmers who can assist to immediately contact Richard Short at (302) 855-7802 or (302) 236-5311.