Nominate your fire department 2024

Grain bins can be some of the most hazardous places to work on a farm.

On Jan. 1, 2024, an individual became engulfed in a grain bin in Indiana. Three days later, two more individuals were trapped in Arkansas. These cases highlight growing numbers of grain entrapment cases across the nation, up nearly 45% since 2021. In both cases, local first responders promptly began their rescue operations, using specialized equipment and training they received through Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety program to successfully rescue all three victims.

Eliminating grain entrapment injuries and deaths is the goal of Grain Bin Safety Week Feb. 18-24. Initiated by Nationwide in 2014, the Grain Bin Safety Week program raises awareness to the:
Dangers of working in and around grain bins
Importance of implementing and following safe work procedures
Need for grain rescue equipment and specialized rescue training by first responders

Are your local first responders ready?

In conjunction with Grain Bin Safety Week, Nationwide and National Education Center for Agricultural Safety’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest awards emergency first responders with grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training to help save lives. In Ohio alone, the contest has awarded grain rescue tubes and training to 27 fire departments.

Rural firefighters are often the first and only line of defense when someone becomes trapped in stored grain. Most rural firefighters lack the training and equipment needed to perform a successful grain bin rescue. This compounds the problem. And there are often many miles between rescuers and victims. Even a delay of a few minutes when someone is trapped in a grain bin makes the situation a matter of life and death.

Nominate your fire department

You can first see if a grain rescue tube has been awarded near you. If you don’t see one close by, nominate your fire department today. Nominations are due April 30, 2024.

More about Grain Bin Safety Week

Grain Bin Safety Week is held the third full week of February, while the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest runs from Jan. 1 to April 30 annually. Since its start, the contest has attracted more than 11,000 nominations. Nationwide, NECAS and other generous sponsors have provided grain rescue tubes and training to 332 fire departments in 32 states. At least seven fire departments have utilized their rescue tubes and training to successfully rescue entrapped workers.

NECAS Director Dan Neenan travels with a state-of-the-art mobile grain entrapment simulator to the winning locations to conduct the training session and award the tube. Loaded on a 20-foot trailer and able to hold approximately 100 bushels of grain, the simulator is the perfect training ground.

Startling Facts: Injuries & Fatalities from grain bins*

  • In 2022, at least 42 grain entrapments were reported, the highest number of entrapments in a decade (a 44.8% increase from 2021). There were 15 fatalities.
  • In four seconds, an adult can sink knee-deep in flowing grain and be rendered unable to free themselves without assistance. In just 20 seconds, an adult can be fully engulfed.
  • Suffocation from engulfment or oxygen-deficient atmospheres is the leading cause of death in grain accidents.
  • More than 300 grain entrapments have been recorded in the past decade. It’s estimated an additional 30% of cases go unreported.

“Grain bins pose very serious dangers to workers as entrapments can escalate quickly and are life threatening if proper safety procedures aren’t followed when working in or around them,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “For over a decade, Nationwide has been a leader in the fight to correct this industry issue, and while we’re incredibly proud of the efforts and the many partners who’ve made them possible, there is more work to be done.”

Find out more about Grain Bin Safety Week and how you can get involved at


All cash contributions help purchase grain bin tubes and/or training. All donations are managed through the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
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Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2024
* Sources: Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities; Purdue University

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