Union Board Backs Rural Lifesaving Initiative

Grid location cards speeds up emergency response to accidents  

NFU Scotland’s Board of Directors have backed an initiative, which could potentially save lives on farms.

The initiative is run in partnership with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, working alongside the Scottish Ambulance Service and encourages rural workers to pinpoint their exact location in an emergency.

Statistics show that those employed in the rural and agricultural industries across Scotland face the greatest danger of accident or mishap of all professions. And when the worst happens in remote and isolated areas, getting help quickly to the right location is of paramount importance

NFU Scotland’s Board of Directors wants farmers, crofters, landowners and other rural workers to adopt the easy-to-use grid reference system which helps define accurately their location when summoning help.

The pocket-sized reference point cards - detailing unique landmarks such as lochs, prominent hills, masts, water features, churches, bridges or road features - can be copied and kept in multiple locations by everyone on the farm, including on the farm vehicles, in workers’ pockets or pasted to the back of their mobile phones.

By identifying clearly visible landmarks, anyone involved in an accident can pass on an accurate location to emergency services, allowing help to find them more easily.

NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller commented: “The Board of Directors are fully behind this partnership initiative and we have worked with all those on the Board to encourage them to fill out the grid-reference card and carry it with them.

“It’s easy to think this doesn’t apply to me and that I’ll never need to use these grid cards. However, in reality we are all at risk. It really does matter that we all take this initiative seriously and make it work - it’s about protecting our families and those we work with us and not just ourselves.    

“We would ask anyone who works in the rural community, including farmers, crofters and landowners, to take five minutes to fill out the card. I know we are all busy, but by taking just a few minutes to fill it out, it could potentially save a life and help the emergency services locate an accident victim more quickly and easily.

“Completed grid cards can be kept in tractors, on your mobile phone and can be given to employees, so that in an emergency this time saving mechanism could mean the different between life and death.”

Note to editors

  • A photograph of three NFU Scotland Board of Directors with the completed grid cards and President Nigel Miller is available on request by contacting: or 0131 472 4108. This includes the Regional Board chairmen from East Central (James Adam), Argyll and the Islands (John Semple) and Forth and Clyde (Tom French).
  • An electronic copy of the grid card is also available on request by contacting: or 0131 472 4108.


Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 149/14

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