Eight Fire Departments Training Firefighters on Grain Bin Rescues in Salem
Training Will Allow Firefighters to Safely Use New Equipment to Help Successfully Bring Those Trapped in an Elevator Out
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      Members of eight fire departments are training on grain bin rescue operations in Salem.

      The Ag Rescue Program Manager for the University of Illinois Fire Institute Dave Newcomb says the program allows the graduates to work to free those who become trapped in grain elevators.

      "Basically if someone is trapped in a bin we have to be able to get someone there into them because the only way we are going to get them out is to dig them out. The forces on the body and all of that you just can't throw a rope around them and pull them out. So we are training them in all the steps that it takes with rope equipment and harnesses and all of that for them to rig for their safety. This is all about the safety of the responder."

      Newcomb says the training will allow the firemen to utilize some new equipment that has been donated by farm organizations to help save the lives of those trapped in an elevator.

      "Its still a challenge with getting notified. Farmers still work in the culture of working along in remote locations so its just the 911 call to get it started. Good part is we are actually starting to see a trend of engulfment's going down that we know of, but I still think there are a large number of engulfment's that we never hear about."

      The training this weekend was completed at the Salem Fire Station. Next week, the class will work on a farm in developing rescue strategies.

      The two weekend class is being attended by a total of 23 firefighters. Farm Credit of Illinois and the Illinois Corn Growers Association is underwriting the cost of the training.

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