The Ohio Fire Academy and OSU’s Department of Agricultural Safety and Health created a comprehensive, agricultural rescue trailer .The forty foot, flat bed, semi truck that was designed by Ohio State University seniors and was developed to train first responders and farmers on how to respond to grain bin emergencies.
"We’ve never had any but some of the neighboring departments that have had some. They don’t happen that often but when they do, we need to be prepared and trained and know how to deal with them," said Gene Hanning, Washington Twp. Fire Dept. Chief.
Grain bin accidents often happen when farmers, employees and even children enter a bin or silo and attempt to break up the hardened product. The grain can become unstable, causing the person standing on top to fall through and become engulfed by the grain, causing suffocation and death.
"You can see there that someone becomes trapped there in the gravity wagon or a grain bin itself so we can put a cofferdam or some other type of equipment in to be able to keep the area around the victim open so they can breath and get them extricated up out of there."
About eight fire departments from Muskingum County spent their Sunday waist deep in corn learning victim removal procedures and practices in the simulated grain bin and gravity wagon. I had the opportunity to play a grain bin victim. Firemen placed milk crates on top of the corn to stand on, and used metal sheets, known as cofferdams and bottomless garbage cans as tools to safely retrieve me from the quicksand-like corn.
"Just a multifaceted, different type of rescues we are confronted with so you have to train with all of them the best you can so that you can turn out a positive outcome and save a person’s life."