Midwest Energy Arranges $20,000 in Donations for Grain Bin Rescue Equipment
Midwest Energy is arranging a total of $20,000 in donations to enable 13 regional emergency management services and fire departments to purchase grain entrapment rescue tubes and related accessories. The $20,000 total is made up of $10,000 from Midwest Energy’s Community Fund and $10,000 from Denver-based CoBank, one of Midwest’s lenders.
Those receiving grants include: Claflin Fire Department, Phillipsburg Fire Department, Hamilton County Emergency Management, Burdett Fire Department, Garden City Fire Department, Sheridan County Fire Department, Wilson Fire Department, Rawlins County Fire District #1, Reno County Fire District #7, Plainville Rural Fire Department, Gove Fire Department, Lane County Fire Department and St. Francis Volunteer Fire Department. Each organization will receive $1,538 towards equipment purchase, which will cost roughly $3,000.
Grain entrapment rescue tubes have multiple inter-locking sections that can be slid around a person, shielding them from the grain pressing against the victim.The grain level inside the tube is then reduced with a brushless battery-powered drill and auger, and the victim is removed. These devices make timely grain bin rescues a possibility.
When a man in Cheyenne County was trapped in a grain bin in July 2021, a rescue tube in neighboring Sherman County was brought in to free him in a matter of minutes.
Steve Hirsch, an Oberlin-based attorney who also serves as Training Officer for Sheridan County Fire Department and Chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council, feels there is a real need for rural fire departments to have these tubes on hand.
“More and more farms are adding on-site bins, and as a result, grain entrapments are increasingly common,” Hirsch said. “When people become entrapped in grain, every minute counts. These grants allow 13 more counties access to this vital equipment.”