March 25 2016 03:07 PM

With their knowledge of farm buildings, equipment and livestock, farmers bring unique skills to fire departments that prove valuable in emergency situations.

The author and her family own and operate a 570-cow Holstein and Jersey dairy near Berlin, Pa.

Farmer-firefighters know shop setups, livestock locations and understand wind patterns. These attributes make them effective team members in fighting dangerous farm blazes.

Farmers, like most people, have busy lives. Days are filled with chores, fieldwork, repairs, family, community events and the never-ending "to-do" list at any given time of the year. But for many farmers, making time to serve on volunteer fire departments is just as important as the rest of their roles. With their unique skill set and knowledge of equipment and livestock, farmers can be a valuable asset in emergency situations.