The DeLong Co., Inc. is pleased to announce the donation of $40,000 in grain bin rescue equipment to 18 local fire departments. On Thursday evening, fire department staff and DeLong customers gathered for an open house to view demonstrations of this equipment by the Clinton Fire Department.
Grain bin entrapment can occur when a farm worker enters a grain bin, usually to dislodge unmoving grain, and becomes trapped in grain. Flowing grain, like quicksand, can cause entrapment in a matter of seconds. Such entrapments are extremely dangerous, with about a 60% fatality rate, according to Purdue University data, and most occur at farms rather than commercial facilities.
“Our goal is to ensure that local fire departments are equipped and trained to aid the farming community, in the event of a worst-case scenario on a grain farm,” said David DeLong, President of The DeLong Co., Inc. “First responders really only have a short window of time to save someone.”
Specialty grain bin rescue equipment can vastly reduce the time of rescue. The equipment consists of a grain bin tube and small rescue auger, which first isolates the victim from being further engulfed and then moves grain away from the individual, allowing them to be freed more quickly. The donations are especially timely, as many farmers are gearing up for harvest season and grain bin safety is a top priority.
“This project came about when we learned there were many departments in our communities that did not have the proper equipment to handle grain bin rescues,” DeLong explained. “Our grain elevators have safety procedures to prevent these accidents at our facilities, but unfortunately, grain entrapment is still a serious risk on many farms. We hope this equipment is never needed, but if we can save or reduce rescue time for even one person, the value is immeasurable.”
The DeLong Co. will also be working with fire departments to offer additional training on the equipment and to provide facility use for real-world rescue scenarios. The following fire departments received equipment as part of this donation: Clinton (WI), Janesville (WI), Milwaukee (WI), Orfordville (WI), Sharon (WI), Boone County (IL), Crystal Lake (IL), Hampshire (IL), Harvard (IL), Kaneville (IL), Marengo (IL), Minooka (IL), Rockford (IL), South Beloit (IL), Waterman (IL), Edgerton (KS), Lockbourne (OH) and Omaha (NE).