More than 25 area firefighters have updated their skill set when it comes to rescuing somebody in a farming accident.
Specifically, the type of accident involving thousands of bushels of grain, micro fine flammable, explosive dust, sweat-popping high temperatures and sometimes poisonous gasses such as methane and hydrogen sulfide.
The sultry afternoon of June 10 saw 25 members of the Little Dixie volunteer fire department gathered around and atop of a mobile grain bin and a mobile grain hopper, both more than half full of central Missouri corn.
The volunteers were there to learn the most recent methods available for rescuing people from accidents involving being trapped in grain-storage facilities.
Despite the heat, Jay Schutte, Little Dixie Board member, former firefighter and farmer, said the tough training could be more realistic.
Remember, he said, “when these guys are out there rescuing somebody from a grain collapse, it could be 120-130 degrees inside one of those silos. Right now they are working with good, clean corn, courtesy of MFA. When a farmer needs rescued, it is often old, caked and decaying grain. When a pocket collapses and traps a farmer it often releases gasses such as methane and hydrogen sulfide. That stuff is dangerous to breathe. And these guys are volunteers.”
As firefighter and farmer Greg Stowers sank up to his chest in corn, Ken Hoover, Little Dixie fire chief agreed with Schulte.
“These people have been out here since 8 this morning,” Hoover said, gesturing at the firefighters, gathered around three fire school instructors, learning how to put on their rescue harnesses.
For the complete article, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.