GRATIS — Harvest Land Co-op of Richmond, Indiana recently learned of a lack of grain entrapment rescue equipment in the southern part of Preble County, and on Monday, July 27, the company met that need with a donation of a grain rescue tube to the Gratis Fire Department.
Total grain engulfment takes a mere twenty seconds and suffocation happens in less than a minute. Grain rescue tubes are designed for trench entrapment as well as grain rescue and extraction. The panels of the tube can be reversed to allow first responders to make a wall or a tube from the panels. The sleek finish allows the panels to slide easily into grain, removing the grain from around the victim to relieve pressure as quickly as possible.
The grain tube will be added to their rescue equipment, while a grant is in the works to get a grain vac to help remove grain from a person trapped inside a bin.
“We hope we never have to use it, except during training exercises, but we are very grateful to receive this. Prior to the donation, the closest one was in Gasper Township, over 15 minutes away,” Lt. Bryan Bowling said.
The Gratis Fire Department is an all-volunteer fire department, consisting of 45 volunteers from the local area. Within the fire department’s jurisdiction, there are approximately 50 grain bins, either privately owned or small businesses, with more grain storage being added.
Each rural department cannot financially afford to be equipped for grain rescue, rope rescue kits, and beyond, so within a county, more than one department will respond and assist other departments with equipment and personnel as needed.
To date, Harvest Land has donated nine grain rescue tubes and three rope rescue kits throughout their trade territory, which stretches from Indianapolis east to Dayton, OH and Fort Wayne south to Cincinnati.
“Harvest Land is committed to safety and ensuring that our first responders are equipped with the tools necessary to save a life if they get called out to a grain entrapment,” remarked Scott Logue, Harvest Land CEO. “When a grain entrapment call goes out in a community, someone’s parent, child, spouse or grandparent is in immediate and great danger.”
Grain entrapment deaths are preventable. In a 12-month period, two adult men and a child were lost due to grain entrapment in Harvest Land’s trade territory. As a company, the local farmer-owned cooperative is committed to hosting trainings for fire departments, 4-H groups, and local FFA chapters through their Cultivating Communities initiative. Harvest Land’s Risk Management team has hosted six grain safety and rescue trainings at their facilities for first responders. In 2019 Harvest Land trained 19 fire departments in the area of grain safety and rescue. Through those trainings, more than 160 first responders were educated and trained properly for grain entrapment in rural communities.
The donated grain rescue tubes are built in Plain City, by Gingway Products, Inc., a small welding and fabrication business that saw a need to help the agriculture community.