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Ohio team gains rescue training

Ask Albert Johnston and he'll tell you that it pays to read Successful Farming magazine. He opened his October 2010 issue and read about an opportunity for a free grain bin extrication training and rescue tube.

Johnston and his son, Matt, are dairy farmers who serve on the Homeworth (Ohio) Volunteer Fire Company. He talked to Gregg Carver, a 28-year veteran of the company and a township trustee, who agreed to enter a nomination.

Two months later, Carver was notified that Homeworth was the lucky recipient. Located in Knox Township, Columbiana County, the 23-member team is based in a farming area. “We know there are over 300 grain bin storage units in our area,” Carver says. “Receiving this new equipment and training means we'll be better fitted to handle a potential incident.”

Dan Neenan and Denny Green from the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), Peosta, Iowa, traveled to Homeworth in April to conduct the training, using a portable simulation training bin donated by Grain Systems, Inc. (GSI), Growmark, and Nationwide Agribusiness. Homeworth's new $2,700 grain rescue tube was donated by GSI; the NECAS training was sponsored by FS Grain Systems.

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The Homeworth Volunteer Fire Company invited 17 firefighters from Stark, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties, Beloit, North Georgetown, Hanover Township, and Damascus to participate in the training and to become certified.

A grain extrication training drill with the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association is set for November.

“We plan to reach out to help train as many other Ohio fire departments as possible and even go to West Virginia and Pennsylvania,” Carver says.

Villard, Minnesota, farmer
Paul Fiedler, read in Successful Farming last winter about the offer of free
grain bin rescue training and equipment. He contacted Dan Neenan at the
National Center for Agricultural Safety in Peosta, Iowa.

Being better prepared

Fiedler and his wife,
Stephanie, have a hog operation and farm 3,200 acres. They have the facilities
to store 350,000 bushels of grain on their operation.

The Fiedlers decided to
purchase the rescue training and a grain rescue tube for the Villard, Sauk
Centre and Forada fire departments.

“The fire department always
has to do its own fundraising to buy equipment and take training so they can
protect us,” Fiedler says. “As farms get larger, it’s time for us to step up to
the plate, and help them be better prepared to protect us and our families.”

About 25 members of the
three departments attended the June 4 training session. Fiedler says that he
had to take a turn being a victim in need of rescue. “When they put the rescue
tube around you, you definitely what it’s like to caught beneath the surface,” he
says.

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