“When I realized no other fire departments in the area had this equipment, I knew that something had to be done.” That’s according to Jason Garing, Captain of the Kentland-Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department and AgVenture, Inc. Systems Administrator. Garing was referring to a RES-Q Tube, a tool used to aid in the rescue of victims trapped in a grain engulfment.
“Farming is a dangerous occupation. We live in an agricultural area where countless bins are monitored by farmers every day. Accidents do happen, and being trapped in grain in a bin is an accident that the statistics prove often results in death. We wanted to be prepared with both the training and the equipment to come to the aid of those in our community who work to put food on all of our tables.”
A report published by Purdue University shows that from 1964 to 2005, 74 percent of reported grain entrapments resulted in fatalities. Historically 70 percent of all documented entrapments have occurred on farms, the others primarily take place at commercial grain facilities.
The gift to the Fire Department was made possible with contributions by AgVenture, Inc., Kentland, Indiana, Infinity Grain Systems of Brook, Indiana and Kentland Elevator and Supply, Inc., of Kentland. Manufactured by GSI, the RES-Q tube is a lightweight aluminum tube used to disperse the grain surrounding the victim in the bin. It acts to stop the flow of grain toward the victim and block any pressure created by the rescuer.
Garing said, “About three years ago, the Assistant Fire Chief and I attended a training course to learn the proper procedures to safely rescue victims trapped in a grain bin. This equipment is relatively new and also helps keep rescuers safe while assisting a victim. When we started to ask other fire fighters who had this equipment, we learned no one in the region had it.”
But according to Garing, “Good people come together when there’s a need.” He added, “We were fortunate enough working with AgVenture, Inc. to ask about funds available for community support. With their help, and cooperation and contributions from Kentland Elevator and Infinity Grain Systems, we were able to purchase the RES-Q tube.”
“Our hope is we never have to use it. But if necessary, it is critical to have the right training and the right equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently.”
Garing said farm safety classes and training videos can help refresh farmers about safety rules. “With summer and or seasonal workers on the farm, and many who come from non-farm backgrounds, it is important to remind those working around grain to take the safety precautions necessary to avoid dangerous situations.” He concluded, “And keep your emergency phone numbers ready when help is needed.”