LEWISBURG — Cargill recently supplied the Village of Lewisburg with equipment necessary to protect farmers and others in the village and in neighboring communities. Working with Cargill Cares, Lewisburg Fire & EMS was able to purchase a grain rescue device and a forcible entry training simulator.
Susan Laux, with Mote & Associates, assisted the village with the grant application process.
The grain recovery apparatus will be used to rescue farmers who have fallen into their grain bin. The forcible entry training door will help the fire department train for forceful entry and opening a door during an emergency situation.
“Safety is really important to us. From the Cargill Cares Council, I came to the fire department wanting to know if there was anything we could do for the community and for our employees at the plant. [The department] came up with suggestions on what we could help them buy to protect the community. “We decided to purchase a grain recovery apparatus for farmers in the area and a forcible entry training door,” Lorey Collins, Cargill Cares team member, explained.
According to Assistant Chief Patrick Fink, the department met to discuss equipment that could be beneficial to them. They first identified the need for the grain bin rescue equipment.
“We’ve never had that — thank goodness we’ve never had to use it for this area — but it is a nice tool to have, in case someone gets stuck in a grain bin and they start sinking. [This equipment] is how we’re going to be able to rescue them and get them out,” he said.
Next, they identified the need for the forcible entry training door.
“In firefighter training, forceful entry is kind of important, not just in factories, but in people’s houses. Once you get out of training, you never really do it again. It is hard to find someone who is going to let you break into their house,” he said.
Fink added, neighboring departments are welcome to use both of these pieces of equipment. In case of a grain bin rescue, Lewisburg can now be called out to other communities to assist. Lewisburg Fire Department has already done a lot of training using the door prop, but they already have two or three departments interested in using it to train in 2020.
According to Bob Sewert, Lewisburg Fire Chief, they have wanted these items for years, but have never been able to afford them. Cargill spent approximately $10,000 on these new pieces of equipment for the Village of Lewisburg.
“With these two articles, it’s like we’ve added something very significant to our training arsenal,” he said. “This will be quite a benefit not just to us but neighboring departments. We cannot thank this group enough, because this will help us enhance our abilities to perform our duties.”
For Cargill it is important to give back to the community and help where they can, since their employees are typically citizens of the Village of Lewisburg.
According to Cargill Regional Operations Manager Dan Brouse, two of the companies biggest goals are safety and community enrichment.
“Complete safety is for our employees, but it is also for their families and our communities – that is what these tools are about. Community enrichment is being a good citizen in the communities we live and work. The reality is, a large number of our employees live in Lewisburg too. This benefits them, their families, their children, the schools, and the businesses all the way around. We also have a couple employees who volunteer on the Fire Department. It is just the right thing to do.”
Cargill Safety Lead Chuck Gray explained, the company recognized the need to reach the farmer’s for grain bin or confined space rescue. They also did the same for Nebraska at one of their other locations.
“We started doing community enrichment as Cargill to show we care about not just our employees, but also our community. We’re trying to build and strengthen that partnership in our community,” he said.
The Village of Lewisburg is thankful for the donation from Cargill and for the corporation’s assistance and collaboration in the past.
“I would like to thank Cargill for reaching out to our community and investing in the safety and enriching the lives of the people who live, work, and play here. I also would like to thank our safety department for the thoughtfulness that went into what was requested from Cargill and for the proactive-ness you take by inviting other departments to come in and train – it benefits everyone if we’re all prepared for a potential emergency,” Mayor Marsha Jones said.
Municipal Manager Jeff Sewert added, “This goes to show we’re all working together towards a common goal, to make this a better place for us to live, work, and play. We want to say thank you for this donation and for being a great corporate citizen in our community.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH