LOWNDES CO. – Lowndes County Fire Rescue receives training to respond to accidents involving a person trapped in a grain bin.
Lowndes County, Georgia: This week, Lowndes County Fire Rescue personnel trained to respond to accidents involving a person trapped in a grain bin.
“It only takes seconds, or a simple mistake, for a person to sink in the quicksand-like flow of grain and become fully entrapped or engulfed. That is where training and familiarity with these types of incidents becomes an important asset for our rescue personnel,” said Lowndes County Fire Rescue Training Deputy Chief Billy Young.
Each year, farmers and industrial grain handling personnel risk their lives by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As our rural communities know, an accident in a grain bin can quickly turn deadly. In just seconds, adults can sink to their waist in flowing grain, resulting in them being trapped or completely engulfed. These incidents result in dozens of lives lost annually. According to researchers at Purdue University, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment were reported in the past 50 years with a fatality rate of 62%. In 2020, grain entrapments led to 20 deaths.
The training provided involved using a device called a “Grain Rescue Tube” consisting of interlocking slats that surround the person who is trapped. Training Captain Jeff Talley stated, “Once secured and surrounded by the tube, rescuers can begin removing grain from the tube. This allows rescuers to relieve the pressure on the victim caused by the grain and safely remove the victim.”
BCT Gin manager Patrick Philpot provided a trailer loaded with corn from their Adel facility for the training.
The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) reports that suffocation is a leading cause of death in grain storage accidents. Time is of the essence when it comes to grain bin rescues, and this training will allow rescuers to conduct more efficient and safer rescue operations.
For more information on Lowndes County Fire Rescue visit, www.lowndescounty.com.