Bayer Fund

Farmer aims to save lives with grant money


When people are involved in an accident, seconds matter.

That’s why firefighters at Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services Station 4 are grateful to receive a Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities grant.  Station 4 was nominated by Rich Gebel, a local farmer from Dover, Ontario who is also a volunteer firefighter at the station.

“The firemen were pretty pumped when we got the grant,” said Gebel. “Everybody just lit up.  It means a lot.”


Gebel says they plan to use the $2500 grant to help purchase a cordless Jaws of Life.

“These special units don’t require any pumps or motors so there is not setup time,” explained Rob Brown, one of the 16 volunteer firefighters at Station 4. “There’s no set up time so we go right to the car and can start to work on getting somebody out.”

According to Brown, removing people from in or under vehicles quickly is especially important when dealing with agriculture and farming accidents.

The firehall was already fundraising to purchase the equipment when Bayer came to do a yearly check on Gebel’s soybean crop.  And with a little prompting from his Bayer representative to nominate a local charitable or community group, Gebel immediately thought of the fire hall.

“I said to myself, I’ve really got nothing to lose,” said Gebel.

Station 4 now only has a few thousand dollars left to raise and thanks to the Bayer Fund support, raising the remaining funds will be a lot easier. Gebel encourages other farmers to nominate causes close to their hearts.

“Just nominate somebody,” said Gebel. “It benefits the whole community and you never know – you might get picked.”