OPI & HTS Ag Provide Rural Fire Department with Life-saving Rescue Resources to Protect Against Grain Bin Accidents

Local first responders with Minden Fire & Rescue in Minden, Iowa, were awarded a grain rescue tube and specialized training from OPI and HTS Ag through Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign. The resources will be used to help protect against grain entrapments, which result in dozens of deaths across rural America.

Every year, thousands of farmers and commercial grain handlers risk their lives by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As rural communities have come to know all too well, the risks of entering grain bins continue to be overlooked.

“It only takes seconds, or a simple mistake, for an adult to sink in the quicksand-like flow of grain and become fully entrapped or engulfed,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “Adding to the risk is a lack of rescue equipment available to local fire departments and emergency responders who are called for help when a worker becomes trapped.”

To help lead the fight against these accidents impacting agricultural communities, the country’s leading insurer of farms and ranches, Nationwide, began its Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014 to bring awareness to the hazards of entering grain structures and to equip fire departments with the resources needed to respond effectively.

Image courtesy of OPI

Minden Fire & Rescue is one of more than 272 fire departments to receive these resources and benefit from the program since its inception.

"As long-time members of the agriculture industry, we fully understand the risks our customers undertake every day, and we're proud to equip first responders with another tool to keep our rural communities safe," says Dave Compton, CEO, OPI.

The grain rescue tube delivery and training was conducted by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) and included simulations of entrapments and rescues using a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator, which is loaded on a trailer and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain.

Since 2014, at least seven fire departments have put the tubes and training to use to save the lives of workers trapped in grain bins.

“With long-standing roots in agriculture, we’re thankful for the work America’s farmers do and for the contributions of our valuable partners who help us make a difference with this campaign in rural communities,” said Liggett.

To learn more or view grain bin safety resources, visit www.thinkgrainbinsafety.com.