The Daily Iowegian
---- — The Centerville Fire Department now have the tools necessary to rescue a person trapped in a grain bin, according to a press release issued by the Centerville Fire Department.
Centerville Produce and Feed donated a grain bin rescue tube and Smith Fertilizer and Grain donated a rescue auger recently to the Centerville Fire Department. With the tube, the fire department can enter the grain bin with the proper harness, slide the tube around the victim to relieve the pressure of the grain and the auger is then used to extract the grain out of the tube, allowing the victim to become free.
The press release states grain bin entrapments can happen quickly. Flowing grain can draw a person completely under in less than five seconds. That time is reduced with high capacity unloading equipment. Children are at an even greater risk around flowing grain. They are shorter than adults, so it takes less time before they become submerged.
When the grain is being augured out of a bin, the grain flows down to center of the bin. This creates a funnel shape in the grain bin. The center draws down at a faster rate than the sides. If a person is in that bin when the auger is running, that person will sink, becoming engulfed in grain. Even after the auger has been shut down, if the person is buried, pulling them out will be difficult without the proper rescue equipment. A 165-pound person submerged in grain would take 2,000 pounds of force to pull them out.
The press release offers these safety tips:
• Keep children out of grain bins.
• Lock out the control circuit before entering a bin.
• Always wear a harness when entering a grain bin.
• Keep in contact with someone outside the bin.
• Never enter a bin that is caked or spoiled. This could create a void that may collapse.