Local fire station trains with new gear for grain bin rescues during Grain Bin Safety Week

Local News

An accident in a grain bin or silo could be life threatening and too often ends in tragedy.

With this in mind one Crawford County fire department began training during Grain Bin Safety Week with new equipment that was donated to them.

The Cambridge Spring Fire Station received the tube as a donation from the Grain Bin Safety Week Program to practice confined space training and how to rescue someone that is trapped in grain.

One could hear the sound of corn being evacuated from the inside of the safety tube during the firefighters training.

It takes fifteen seconds to sink into grain once the auger is turned on.

For training, the firefighter was put into a real life situation being physically stuck in corn above his waist while being unable to get out.

“Two of the firefighters will need to go in with the rescue tube, build it around like a coffer dam, sink it down and then evacuate the grain from inside until the victim becomes loose on their own,” said Dan Neenan from the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.

“It feels like you are standing in concrete and you can’t move anything,” said George McNamara, Volunteer Firefighter.

Deaths have happened in Cambridge Springs in the past which gives the fire chief a new found hope that the training and equipment will be a life saving resource.

“We have had a couple in years past and they didn’t quite make it. It’s a tragedy, but we didn’t have this type of equipment,” said Chris French, Chief of Cambridge Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire chief said that this training is great because as always the main goal is to save lives.

“If it works I mean it would be great. If we can save lives that’s our number one goal in our fire department is to save lives,” said French.

“We live in a rural community so there may not be as many grain farms around here, but there still are and it’s not uncommon to get called to a grain bin fire or anything involved in a grain bin. So it’s a good thing to know,” said McNamara.

The fire chief also said that the equipment is good to have so the Cambridge team can share what they learned to other stations in the area that may not be trained in grain bin rescue.

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