Bennet Fire and Rescue wins award to receive grain-rescue equipment and training
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - As a part of a grain bin safety campaign, Nationwide Insurance awarded grain-rescue tubes and training to help rural fire departments respond in times of need.
Fifty-eight fire departments were awarded the equipment and training, including Bennet Fire and Rescue.
“This is going to be a brand new piece of equipment that we as a department have never used before,” said Bennet’s fire chief, Tim Norris.
Norris said in previous grain bin rescues Bennet had to rely on other departments with the proper equipment and training to help. Now, they’ll not only be able to help their community, but surrounding ones as well.
“It gives us additional skills and ups our game a little bit so instead of saying ‘oh maybe someone else will help us,’ we can do it ourselves,” Norris said. “So we are maybe going to be called on to help somebody else in another local department. If someone else needs help we’re there right away.”
Norris said this training and equipment is necessary especially in rural areas like Bennet.
According to data from Purdue University, there were 64 confined space cases in 2020. Half of those were deadly. Nebraska ranked in the top five with five cases.
“The problem with grain is it’s always moving so if you cant isolate the person to get them out they’re gonna keep sinking down potentially as well as it’s dangerous for the rescuers,” Norris said. “This will be a way to help us get someone out safely and as quickly as we can.”
Norris said the department, which consists of around 20 members, will receive hands-on training with a grain bin simulator and the departments new grain rescue tube.
Two other departments in Nebraska also received the award. Those include Lawrence Volunteer Fire and Ohiowa Rural Fire Department.
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