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Rescue tube saves farmer trapped in grain bin

As harvest and weaning season approaches, farm safety is critical. Learn how new technology helps save farmers engulfed in grain.

Amanda Radke

September 19, 2017

2 Min Read
Rescue tube saves farmer trapped in grain bin
Amanda Radke

It’s that time of year again when things start to move quickly. Producers are busy cutting silage, moving cattle to graze harvested corn fields, preparing for weaning, stockpiling forages, winterizing the ranch, and other pressing tasks as the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop.

When we’re in hustle mode, we often get so focused on the task at hand that we forget that our rushed actions and hurried movements could lead to a dangerous situation. I’ve blogged about farm safety in the past, but it’s a topic that should be visited often. It only takes a split second for something horrible to happen on the ranch. Let this recent example serve as a scary reminder.

READ: Don't be a statistic; Practice farm safety

In a recent release from Nationwide AgriBusiness, “Fire Chief Matt Webb was heading to work when he heard the 911 call come in over his pager. It was 9:53 a.m. on Aug. 8. A local farmer had just fallen into a bin of rotting corn in a small, rural community on the outskirts of the county. By the time Webb arrived on the scene less than 10 minutes later, the farmer was engulfed in corn up to his neck.”

The story could have ended with a funeral and a mourning farming family, but thanks to some new technology, the farmer lived to see another day.

According to the article, “Thanks to a grain rescue tube and training provided by Nationwide almost two years earlier, Webb and other first responders were able to rescue the man in 1 hour and 44 minutes.”

This life-saving resource enabled the fire department to safely move the farmer out of the grain bin, but now the challenge is getting these grain rescue tubes and training in more towns across the country.

"It only takes seconds to become entrapped in grain and less than a minute to become completely engulfed," said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness, in the press release. "Once grain is above knee-level, it is nearly impossible to get out without assistance. Until we can convince all farmers and other grain handlers to develop a zero-entry mentality, we will strive to make tubes and rescue training as widely available as possible.”

Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded tubes and training to 48 fire departments across 18 states. These departments are now properly equipped to reduce farmers who may become entrapped in grain.

To learn more about this program and help your local fire department receive the training and the equipment for this valuable life-saving resource, check out www.grainbinsafetyweek.com.

Nationwide also has a variety of grain bin safety tips and webinars available. These would be good to review yourself or show to your children, grandchildren or hired employees. View these resources by clicking here.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

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