First responders from Yadkin County underwent a special training on Saturday to learn how to rescue someone trapped in a grain bin.
Instructor Lee Scripture, a firefighter from Terrell County, lead the training session. Scripture said there are, on average, 30 to 40 grain-related emergency incidents in the country each year. With agriculture being a big part of the NC economy the need is growing for this type of emergency training.
“This is an ag rescue training and it is designed to teach first responders how to appropriately respond to, assess and work in an incident involving a grain bin or a grain handling facility,” Scripture explained. “Most first responder agencies in NC don’t have the background in dealing with these types of incidents and this training was developed to give them that knowledge so they can safety respond to this incident and asses it and understand what needs to happen.”
Lake Phelps Grain, based in Crestwell, recently invested in safety equipment used in grain bin emergencies and have been working to facilitate trainings across the state. The company has grain facilities in eight NC counties, including Yadkin and Davie.
“This is a tremendous financial investment by Lake Phelps, but it will also help these ag communities around the state,” Scripture said.
Those participating in the training learned how to safely enter a grain bin, how to lower the level of product in that bin and how to use a special tube to encapsulate the victim so they can be safely removed from the bin.
Following a classroom session on the topic, volunteer firefighters from Courtney, Forbush, Arlington and Lewisville had the opportunity to work a mock grain bin entrapment.
“We do this in a very controlled environment allowing them to use this piece of equipment to get somebody out,” Scripture explained.
Those participating were eager to gain this new knowledge to be able to assist if such an emergency should arise in the area.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 on or Twitter @RippleReporterK.