Farming can be very dangerous, and farmers are looking for ways to be proactive about safety for themselves and their families. Recently, Highland County Farm Bureau worked in conjunction with the Highland County Fire Chief’s Association and Emergency Response Personnel to provide local fire departments proper equipment and training needed for grain bin rescues.
“Grain bin accidents are on the rise while farm accidents are on a decline here in the last several years,” said Dave Bushelman, a Highland County Farm Bureau board member. “In 2010 there were 50 reported grain bin accidents in the country and about half were fatalities.”
“I saw demonstrations with rescue tubes at the Farm Science Review and a light bulb went off in my head that we should find out what we have for these situations down home,” said Nathan Brown, Highland County Farm Bureau vice president.
After looking into local resources and talking with the county Farm Bureau board, Brown and Bushelman decided to organize a campaign to raise money to equip local emergency responders with the equipment needed for grain bin accident rescues.
Since December, more than $44,000 has been raised, and some of the equipment has already been purchased and used at trainings that were held May 18 and 19 with 20 first responders attending each day. Brown, Bushelman and Highland County Farm Bureau President Jeff Roehm participated as well.
At the training, first responders were taught how to use the two newly purchased trailers equipped with special tubes to be used in grain bin rescues.
“We are working on getting some more trainings with ropes and harnesses, and actually may be getting to cut up some grain bins here in the next couple weeks to get the guys used to being on ladders with saws and cutting grain bins open,” Brown said. “It’s going to be on going training for a long time to get the teams proficient in these skills.”
Brown and Bushelman said this will be a long-term project to keep the first responder teams proficient in the skills needed for these types of rescues. There are also plans to recognize all supporters of the project at Highland County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting in August.
Read a Columbus Dispatch story about a recent grain bin accident and Highland County Farm Bureau’s project.
Learn about Ohio State Extension’s Grain C.A.R.T. (Comprehensive Agricultural Rescue Trailer).