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Highland County wins award for Grain Bin Rescue program

Published Dec. 12, 2013 | Discuss this article on Facebook

Highland County Farm Bureau (OH) was recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation for its innovative program idea in this year’s County Activities of Excellence Awards program.

Over the past 20 years the number of grain-related incidents on farms and commercial facilities has been increasing. A new record of 51 documented grain bin incidents was reported in 2010, of which 50 percent died.  Entrapments and engulfment’s occur where most of the grain is grown and stored. Therefore, more cases are reported from states such as Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio where there are large acreages, and substantial on-farm storage capacity.When a person becomes entrapped in a grain bin, the victim cannot be pulled out due to friction forces and pressure of the grain on the person.  The grain must be removed from around the victim by cutting holes in the sides of the bin or by placing a tube or barrier around the victim and baling the grain out with a bucket or a shop-vac.Highland County Farm Bureau recognized the dangers surrounding farm work and decided that the community would greatly benefit from a Farm Rescue Program.  The objective was to provide the Fire Departments of Highland County with the proper equipment and training needed for grain bin type rescues.

A joint effort was formed between the County Fire Chiefs Association and Highland County Farm Bureau to make the Farm Rescue Program a reality. After several joint meetings, an equipment list and budget was agreed upon. It was determined that Farm Bureau would take the lead on the fundraising with the assistance of the Fire Chief’s Association.

The Fire Chief’s Association took care of researching and then purchasing the proper equipment.A flyer was designed by Farm Bureau members which included the description of the project, goals, timeline and donor levels benefits. Farm Bureau Trustees spoke at several civic organizations including the County Township Association and Rotary Club.  Community members distributed flyers throughout the County asking for local support.Highland County Farm Bureau raised over $44,000 from local business and farmers to support the purchase and outfitting of two emergency response trailers. These two trailers are completely equipped with the needed equipment for a grain bin type rescue. This equipment includes the rescue tube, safety equipment, ropes, grain removal equipment and hand tools in a single trailer that is ready to respond to a grain bin accident when needed.

In May 2013 Farm Bureau sponsored the training for 36 Emergency Personnel in grain bins rescues by our State Fire Academy.The trailers and equipment have been turned over to the Fire Chief’s Association and will be strategically located through the County. The County Grain Bin Rescue team has a Commander and will do monthly trainings to stay proficient with their training.This farm rescue program has already provided valuable farm related training to local emergency personnel and will benefit the community for any grain bin type rescues needed far into the future.


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