Four transition year students at Borrisokane Community College have developed a personal alarm for use in the event of a farm accident, as part of their entry for the Certified Irish Angus Schools Competition.
Adrian Dockery, Ross Austin, James Kelly and Alastair Grant began developing the GPS-enabled device in 2020.
Farm safety is key, especially with all the machinery on farms over silage season
The idea emerged after Kelly’s uncle was involved in a farm safety incident with a stock bull while working alone on the farm.
The team received help with their idea from Jacqueline Hayes, agricultural science teacher at Borrisokane CC, as well as from local farmers.
The device was trialled from mid-March by livestock farmers in Tipperary, with positive feedback received on its ease of use.
The device is attached near the collar of overalls in these trials to allow for easy access in challenging situations.
The design consists of a simple pull-cord-activated SMS system which alerts the mobile phones of those connected to the activated device.
A mobile phone alarm allows family members or colleagues to come to the aid of the device user, guided by the GPS location sent to an app linked to the device.
“Farm safety is key, especially with all the machinery on farms over silage season,” said Adrian Dockery, reflecting on the safety lessons learned over the project.
“Calving season is another area where farmers must be extra safe, hopefully helped by the device.”
Should enquiries continue, the students plan to make the product available for purchase by May 2022.