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Zoar VFD Receives Grain Bin Rescue Equipment

By DAVID SCHLOSSER, Senior Correspondent | July 17, 2021 | OHIO

Story No. 071721117

ZOAR - The Zoar Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. received grain bin rescue equipment and training from the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) during the evening of June 23rd after a year- long delay due to the COVID-19 virus. The department received news of the grant award in May 2020 but had to wait until travel restrictions were eased. Instructors Dan Neenan and Terry Dress made arrangements to deliver the equipment during the distribution of the 2021 grants. Firefighters and local farm workers spent the evening learning about the dangers of grain bins and silos during the classroom presentation and hands-on training exercise with the NECAS specialized training trailer. Heritage Cooperative generously trucked in the 110-bushells of corn for the exercise and arranged for it to be returned to their New Philadelphia facility the following morning.

The grant provided the ZVFD with a corn chute system that consists of six panels that can be assembled in multiple configurations such as protective shields for those pinned against walls, or as a chute that encircles the victim and protects them from shifting corn. A grain evacuation auger powered by cordless drills was also included and both pieces of equipment were valued at $5,000. Participants learned about the dangers of corn bins and several firefighters volunteered for the exercise and were sunk up to their waists to demonstrate how easy it is to become trapped. The instructors also demonstrated how 2-liter soda crates can be used as work platforms to distribute the weight of rescuers and preventing weight shift due to corn movement. The grain bin rescue equipment will be housed in the station and is available to all departments through mutual aid.

Doug House the local representative from Corteva Agriculture which is a major sponsor of the NECAS Grain Bin Safety Program was also on-hand to present the equipment to the department. This incredible program is responsible for the distribution of more than 200 grain bin systems and is made possible by the generosity of Nationwide Insurance, Corteva Agriculture, KC Supply, Sump Saver, Hawkeye Electric, and the Northeast Iowa Community College. To date, the program is credited with 23 lives saved. The annual grain bin rescue tube grant program opens annually from January 1st through April 30th. Visit www.necasag.org to learn more about the program, training opportunities and grants.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.