Firefighters practice rescuing person trapped in grain bin
ALBION – Orleans County firefighters and some local area farmers had the opportunity to attend a training involving the rescue of a person trapped in a grain bin.
The training on Aug. 20 was provided by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety with sponsorships by The Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America, Farm Credit East, New York Farm Bureau Member Services and The Evans Insurance Agency.
NECASAG Director Dan Neenan was the course instructor. Orleans County firefighters attended from Albion, Barre, Carlton, East Shelby, Fancher-Hulberton-Murray, Holley, Kendall and Shelby.
They participated along with representatives from Orleans County Emergency Management and Elba Fire Department.
Following a short slide presentation, the participants spent the rest of the morning performing the hands-on rescue evolutions in victim removal and safe methods to lower the grain level in the bin.
The evolutions were completed using grain rescue equipment purchased by Carlton. This was to ensure that local responders were familiar with the tools available to them in the county.
Firefighters worked in pairs in the grain bin simulator to free victims who were trapped waist deep in corn. The rescue tool allows responders to build a wall around the victim. The grain entrapping the victim can then be removed from inside the wall which facilitates the victim’s removal.
The firefighters in the bin were assisted by other responders who handed them equipment as well as offering advice and encouragement. All firefighters entering the bin wore full body harnesses and were secured to the frame of the simulator. The grain depth is also maintained at a level that will not allow an adult to be submerged.
Responders also received training in the proper size and location to cut vents in the side of a grain bin to safely lower the grain level in the bin. Lowering the level assists with victim location and removal.
Jim Panek of Panek Farms in Albion arranged steel bin sections for cutting. Andrew Niederhofer, the Carlton fire chief, arranged corn from Lynn-ette Farms to be in the grain bin.
The training is provided by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety and is the first in a series of safety trainings for the WNY region through a grant received by Erie County on behalf of the WNY Region. Sessions were held in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Niagara, Orleans, Steuben and Wyoming counties between Aug. 4-20.