This week Harvest Land donated a grain rescue tube to Gratis Fire Department, located in southern Preble County, Ohio.
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.
Lt. Bryan Bowling stated, “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.”
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.
To date, Harvest Land has donated nine grain rescue tubes and three rope rescue kits throughout our trade territory as part of our ongoing commitment to Cultivate Communities.
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.
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.
“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.
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.