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Area firefighters and emergency responders train all kinds of emergencies, not just for fires.
In this agricultural community, the prospect of a grain bin entrapment is not so much and if it will happen, but when?
On Saturday, April 24th, twenty-three emergency responders from across northeast Missouri came to Kahoka to partake in Grain Bin Engulfment Rescue Training, sponsored by the Kahoka Fire Department. Three Missouri University Fire and Rescue Training Institute (MUFRTI) instructors from southern Missouri, each with over a decade of grain bin rescue experience came to share to share their knowledge. Under a joint partnership with the Missouri Division of Fire Service, MFA and MUFRTI, this eight-hour class was brought to Clark County for no charge to the participating departments and firefighters. The twenty-three emergency responders represented Rutledge, Revere, Wayland, Newark, Farmington, Kahoka, Lewis County R4 and Lewis R5 Fire Departments, including three local firefighters who also serve with the Clark County Rescue Squad.
The day began at 8am with the arrival of student firefighters, greeted by the view of a 50-foot semi-trailer from Mizzou that held a mock grain bin and grain pit – the site of the day’s hands-on training. The morning session was four hours of class-room training that included grain-bin hazards, regulatory guidance and requirements and techniques and procedures for rescuing a victim trapped by grain, or completely engulfed by grain. Following a lunch break, firefighters toured Farmington (Iowa) Fire Department’s rescue truck, which included tools for grain bin, water and vehicle rescue. Farmington Fire Department is a mutual aid fire department to two of the county’s fire departments. The afternoon session began with safety briefings from the instructors and firefighters donning their protective gear. The first training rotation included using a variety power tools to simulate cutting through the side of a grain bin to release grain. The second and third training rotations involved splitting the student base into two groups – one in the confined space simulation and the open pit simulation. After donning their rescue and safety harnesses, the firefighters went to work. The confined space exercise involved a victim being entrapped in grain, after crawling into a 30-inch hole and then being rescued by two rescuers in the hole, and a team of rescuers operating the rope rescue portion. The open-pit rescue involved using a rescue chute to protect a victim and using tools such as a mini-auger, buckets and a tapping pipe to remove corn from around the victim.