JAMESTOWN — Silvercreek Township Fire Department is on tract to receive a life-saving grain rescue tube and training, similar to equipment donated to New Jasper Township and Miami Township.
Grain bin accidents are becoming more common in rural communities even though farmers and grain handlers know how quickly lives can be lost in grain entrapment’s.
Some grain bins can hold 55,000 bushels of shelled corn and soybeans and require an auger system to load and unload the crops which is when the accidents tend to happen.
Nationwide Insurance, in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), is awarding 58 fire departments across the country with grain rescue tubes and hands-on training to prepare them to respond when local grain entrapment’s occur.
After receiving more than 1,800 nominations across 45 states in the annual Nominate Your Fire Department contest, a key piece of Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign, the insurer and its partners have awarded grain rescue tubes and training to 58 fire departments and Silvercreek Township Fire Department is one of the 2022 award recipients.
“Although the department has had prior training on this type of equipment, it would be great to have a rescue tube here at Station 41,” said Chief Steve Payton, who’s department of 31 firefighters covers 45 square miles and part of Ross Township.
Kelly Jones Insurance Agency, LLC, has partnered with Nationwide to provide grain rescue equipment to rural area communities the past six years. Her agency also covers farm insurance so she knows first-hand how grain bin accidents/fires can occur.
Jones, who comes from a family of sixth-generation farmers, lives on a Waynesville farm where over 1,000 acres are farmed. Her family’s property contains several grain bins and doubles as a fire department training site for a grain bin simulator and team practice training on retrieving potential victims from accidental entrapment.
“D&E Equipment Company has taught local fire departments how grain bins are built and what can go wrong as they build and inspect grain bins,” said Jones. “The Greene County Farm Bureau and the Hawkins family have donated food and cooked breakfast and lunch for everyone as several fire departments were present getting certified.”
Nationwide Insurance donates multiple grain tubes and training every year and our agency also donates grain tubes and training,” explained Jones, who added Dan Neenan, MBA, Paramedic and Director, NECAS, Safety and Transportation, brings the simulator and gives safety demonstrations to those assembled.
The equipment panels of 6-8 form a “tube” which helps keep the farmer from becoming engulfed, the hand auger helps to vacuum out grain, etc. Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety campaign has awarded 265 rescue tubes across 31 states to first responders in need since 2014.
The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and rescue simulations using the entrapment tools which are loaded onto 20-foot trailers and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain each.
“We’d like to thank our generous partners who supported this cause to put an end to avoidable deaths in rural agricultural communities nationwide,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “It’s been our mission to bring an end to this industry issue by raising awareness of the dangers and supplying needed equipment to the front line rescuers tasked with responding when accidents occur.”