Grain Rescue Techniques Practiced
On March 28 Albion, Liscomb, and Clemons Fire Depts. practiced grain rescue techniques at Mid Iowa Coop in Liscomb. Special thanks to Mid Iowa Coop, and Safety Manager Roger Ohrt, Craig Weuve, Jared Kelber, and Rick Pfantz who hosted the training.
Some interesting info: From the time the hopper was opened until the victim was chest-deep and unable to move was 46 seconds. With everyone at the ready, and equipment in hand, the quickest extraction time was 18 minutes. It is important to note that most bin rescues take 3 hours, and work has to be done in much more difficult conditions than this practice. Our test victims showed bruising on their legs after only 30 minutes of entrapment.
We also discussed the integrity of newer and larger grain bin systems. Cutting into the sidewall of a large bin might seem like an option, but doing so can release significant forces causing the entire bin to shift or collapse. It is important to remember a grain rescue call will take a significant amount of manpower. Especially during the day when manpower is limited, we should call multiple departments right away so enough equipment and help is available. Best option – don’t go in there and become a victim. The preferred outcome is we never have to use this equipment or training.
The containment system Albion uses was provided as part of a grant thru the Iowa Farm Bureau and Nationwide Insurance. Clemons’s system is similar. The basic idea is to drive the panels into the grain creating a containment perimeter around the victim, and using buckets or battery powered augers remove enough grain to free the victim. Movement of the rescuers around the victim can make the situation even worse. Care must be taken not to injure the victim with the panels or by pulling on the body, as significant injury can result. See links below:
Here is a video of the process of assembly and use of the containment system at the training facility: