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Nominate your fire department to win a grain bin rescue tube

For the ninth year, farm and ranch insurer Nationwide is marking Grain Bin Safety Week by holding the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS).

The annual campaign supplies rural fire departments with the rescue equipment and training needed to act in case of a grain bin entrapment, and provides education and resources about grain bin safety to ag professionals.

It only takes four seconds for an adult to sink to their knees in flowing grain and be rendered unable to free themselves without help. In 20 seconds, a farmer can sink into the grain inside a bin and become entrapped with little chance for survival. 

Over the past five years, more than 150 grain entrapments have been reported, according to a study from Purdue University, the 2020 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities. However, it’s estimated the actual number is around 30% higher.

In that same span of time, 81 people have died from being trapped in a grain bin. That number would have been 86 if it weren’t for the rescue tubes and training awarded in the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest. Five lives have been saved and 207 fire departments in 31 states have received equipment and training since the program’s inception in 2014.

“Nationwide has been deeply rooted in agriculture since the company’s founding by the Ohio Farm Bureau and our commitment to protecting America’s producers continues to fuel our work today,” says Brad Liggett, president of agribusiness at Nationwide. “Grain Bin Safety Week is one of many efforts in place to help address the dangers they face. These accidents send shockwaves through rural communities each year, and the reality is, they are often preventable. We are proud to continue to grow Grain Bin Safety Week and bring on new partners in our mission to end this industry issue.” 

Make a nomination

Nominations for this year’s contest are being accepted until April 30, 2022. Winning fire departments will be awarded a grain rescue tube and a six-hour grain entrapment rescue training session at their location.

For the training, NECAS director Dan Neenan travels to each fire department with a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator, rescue tubes, and a 20-foot trailer loaded with 100 bushels of grain. Classroom instruction is also included.

“NECAS is proud to partner with Nationwide on its Grain Bin Safety advocacy initiative to share resources and education with farmers about the hazards of entering grain bins and employing a zero-entry mentality whenever possible,” Neenan says. “It’s also critically important to continue the hard work in getting rural fire departments the equipment and training they need to respond quickly in an entrapment scenario.” 

To nominate a fire department, firefighters or members of the public may fill out the online form or send an entry to gbswinfo@nationwide.com or NECAS, Grain Bin Safety Week Contest, 8342 NICC Drive, Peosta, IA 52068. Entries should describe fire department or emergency rescue team and how they would benefit from the tube, plus how they could share with nearby departments. Include the entrant’s name, occupation, phone number, mailing address, and email address, as well as the name, address, and phone number of the nominated department.

Find more grain bin safety resources at grainbinsafetyweek.com.

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