The Oxford Fire Department is one of only two departments in the state to receive a specialized piece of equipment to assist with grain bin rescues.
Thanks to a partnership with the local Pegram Agency, Nationwide Insurance and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, the Oxford fire department now has the equipment should a situation arise that a person is trapped in a grain bin.
The equipment is basically a rescue tube and NECAS also provides training to make sure fire departments know how to use it properly. NECAS representatives traveled to each location with state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulators. The comprehensive training sessions included classroom education and rescue simulations using the entrapment tools, which are loaded onto 20-foot trailers and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain each.
Rural communities continue to face hazards associated with working in and around grain structures. In 2022 alone, there were at least 42 grain entrapments – the highest number in more than a decade – resulting in 15 fatalities. To help prevent tragic accidents and deaths, Nationwide and its partners are providing life-saving grain rescue tubes and training to 60 fire departments across rural America through its 2023 Grain Bin Safety campaign.
Since beginning the Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014, at least seven fire departments have utilized their rescue tubes and training to successfully rescue entrapped individuals, including a man in Ohio who was trapped up to his armpits back in a March 2023 incident.
“With entrapments and accidents on the rise, it’s as important as ever to be following proper safety precautions before entering a bin,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “
Through collaboration with NECAS, Nationwide and its partners have now supplied grain rescue equipment and training to 332 first responders across 32 states to help prepare them when local grain entrapments occur.
“Grain bin accidents continue to be a critical issue facing the agriculture industry,” said Liggett. “We are proud to have supplied these important resources to 60 more rural fire departments in partnership with the many sponsors involved in our grain bin safety efforts. Thank you to the first responders who play such an important role in supporting the agriculture community.”
Nationwide is continuing to work with partners throughout the year to provide additional grain rescue tubes and training sessions to fire departments in need. To learn how to get involved or sponsor a rescue tube for your local fire department, visit the Partner With Us webpage.