While you're preparing for another busy growing season, ask yourself if you're prepared to properly respond to a serious farm accident.

The victim's fate could hinge on your actions during the initial minutes after the accident, said Darwin Jolley, Utah State University extension agricultural engineering and machinery specialist.Here are some basic tips compiled by the National Safety Council recommending steps you should take for emergency response to farm accidents:

- If more than one uninjured person is present, one should go for help and the other attend the victim. If alone, stabilizing the victim must be your first priority. Leaving a victim alone for even a few minutes could be disastrous.

- If the victim is caught in machinery, shut off the engine. Do not attempt to extricate someone caught in a machine, as it might exacerbate an injury. When calling for help, tell authorities that an extrication will be involved so they can bring proper equipment.

- Unless there is immediate danger of fire or drowning, do not move the victim. This could aggravate an injury. If the victim is bleeding, it is critical that you stop the bleeding immediately. Take a cloth or strip of clothing, press it over the wound and apply direct pressure.

- If the victim is not breathing and you do not detect a pulse, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If oxygen intake and blood flow are not re-established soon, brain damage and death are inevitable.

- If a body part has been severed, locate it so it can be cared for and possibly reattached by medical personnel. Cover the victim with a blanket to keep him or her warm. Try to reassure and calm the victim, but do not offer food or drink.

- Have emergency numbers posted by every phone, including your local emergency rescue squad, fire and police. Dial them directly rather than going through the operator. Be prepared to give clear directions. Do not hang up until authorities have received all the information they need. Give them your phone number so they can call you back if necessary.