Grain Rescue Tube Donation to Richmond Fire Department

Harvest Land Co-op recently learned of a lack of grain entrapment rescue equipment in the area, and on Monday, July 13 we met that need with a donation of a grain rescue tube to the Richmond Fire Department.

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 Pictured left to right are Lindsay Sankey, Harvest Land Communications Manager, Andrew Buckler, RFD Training Chief, Butch Shiebla, Harvest Land Hagerstown Ag Center Manager, Chris O’Neil, RFD Assistant Chief and Nikki Bulach, Harvest Land Associate Risk Manager.

Total grain engulfment takes a mere twenty seconds. 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.

There are more than 700 active farms in Wayne county according to the 2017 US Agriculture Census. While there are no farms in downtown Richmond, the Richmond Fire Department has the largest ladder trucks in the county, a trained rope rescue squad and often serves as a mutual aid department to rural fire departments.

In each local community, city and rural fire departments work together to respond with mutual aid. Each department cannot financially afford to be equipped for grain rescue, rope rescue kits, large ladder trucks, 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 seven 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.

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“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. “Through education and training in many communities, we hope we can encourage local farmers to pause and recognize the many potential hazards of the agriculture profession and plan their work safely. 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, we are committed to hosting trainings for fire departments, 4-H groups, and local FFA chapters through our cultivating communities initiative. Our Risk Management team has hosted six grain safety and rescue trainings at our 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.

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Andrew Buckler, RFD and Chris O’Neil, RFD Assistant Chief were both present during the donation. “Thank you very much, said Buckler, “We hope we never have use this, but we’re very thankful to have it,”

The donated grain rescue tubes are built in Plain City, Ohio by Gingway Products, Inc., a small welding and fabrication business that saw a need to help the agriculture community.

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$10,000 Investment in Henry County

US 40, Interstate 70, State Roads 38 and 234 and US 36 are each main roads, east to west, in rural Henry County, Indiana. The county is then divided right down the middle by State Road 3. But once you’re off the beaten, paved paths of these main routes, you’ll find narrow roads where our trucks and equipment travel to and from our Mt. Summit, Millville and Dunreith locations to meet the needs of area farmers and home heat customers.

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Harvest Land and Henry County have a strong, long-standing relationship. We made a move this week to ensure that well-working relationship continues.

Harvest Land partnered with CHS to contribute $10,000 towards the Grain Bin Safety and Rescue Training Area at the Henry County Emergency Services Training Center. 

Henry Co Grain
L – R: Scott Logue, Harvest Land President/CEO; Ron Huffman, Chairman, Henry County Local Emergency Planning Committee; Julie Lamberson, Harvest Land Risk Manager; and Brian Becker, Harvest Land Director and Henry County resident.

According to Purdue University research, in the last fifty years more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported, with a fatality rate of 62 percent. In 2010, at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain engulfments − the highest number on record. The overall trend of increased on-farm grain storage only allows for more grain entrapments to happen around the family farm.

Every year accidents occur and responders are dispatched to assist, but most local responders arrive on scene with little to no training in the tactics or tools needed. The
intent of the grain entrapment addition to the Henry County Emergency Training Center is soybeanto add an option that addresses this issue. The completed grain portion of the center will provide responders and the ag community – including FFA members – a place to experience firsthand the dangers associated with entering into corn and soybeans. This training tool allows them to get a feel for both within minutes of each other, re-enforcing the differences in both commodities.

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A top down view of the proposed Grain Safety Training Area

At this time we know of no other facility that provides a place to practice real-world tactics
needed to rescue someone in trouble in both environments side by side. The layout of this
grain entrapment addition will also allow many viewers to see exactly what is taking place without need to share a viewport. It will truly be the first of its kind.

Perhaps most important: The Henry County Emergency Services Training Center is available to all those that wish to schedule its use for career, volunteer and agricultural trainings. Harvest Land is also going to use this facility to train employees and farmer-members, including students.

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We’re excited about this contribution to the Grain Bin Safety and Rescue Training Area at the Henry County Emergency Services Training Center and truly look forward to bringing dozens of employees, customers and students to this incredibly valuable site.

Together, we’re Cultivating Communities.

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