Video: A close call highlights the importance of grain bin safety
December 11, 2023
Grain entrapments are a real threat to farmers and ranchers
In March 2023, a typical morning turned into a race against time for the Wilmington Fire Department in Sabina, Ohio. A local farmer found himself trapped in a grain bin, initially up to his waist, and within moments, up to his armpits. Grain entrapments can escalate quickly and are often fatal. In 2022 alone, the U.S. witnessed 42 grain entrapments and 15 tragic losses.1
The role of first responders
The first responders, led by Fire Chief Andy Mason, arrived on the scene promptly. Their immediate priority was to ensure the farmer wasn’t sinking further and was responsive. The rescue operation required specialized grain rescue equipment, including rescue tubes that were used to build a protective circle around the victim.
“The tubes are a wonderful thing, as long as you know how to use them … We’ve had opportunity to do some really good training in some good dry grain. But also it takes practice to get the grain out of the inside of the tube with the individual in it.”
– Andy Mason, Wilmington Fire Department Fire Chief
This equipment and the training to use it effectively were provided by Nationwide in 2016. Over the past decade, Nationwide has equipped hundreds of fire departments across the U.S. with grain rescue tubes and training. This incident marked the seventh of ten successful rescues using these resources.
The importance of safety and training
The rescue operation was a success, and the farmer returned home to his family. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that farmers and ranchers face daily. It underscores the important role you play in advocating for safety education, rescue equipment and training in your own community.