Bennet Rural Fire hosts first-ever grain bin rescue training

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 11:05 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BENNET, Neb. (KOLN) - For the first time in the department’s history, Bennet Rural Fire & Rescue hosted grain bin rescue training at the station in southeastern Lancaster County Thursday night.

Volunteers from Bennet, Eagle and Southeast all took part in critical training that was put on by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety. Bennet Fire Chief Tim Norris says the training was vital for the department after receiving a National Insurance award that granted a rescue tube and training to the department.

“We just don’t know anything about grain bin rescues,” Norris stated. “So now, instead of waiting for someone else, we’re going to be able to do a better job getting help to [whoever is trapped in a grain bin] faster.”

Norris added that having the equipment is a big step for the department when it comes to being prepared for future scenarios should they happen.

“This is a big adventure for us, but we’re glad because we’re gonna be prepared to help take care of our community a lot better, and our neighboring agencies are also going to be able to help us to,” he said.

A Bennet Volunteer Firefighter cuts into a piece of steel, similar to what's used for grain...
A Bennet Volunteer Firefighter cuts into a piece of steel, similar to what's used for grain bins on farms.(Ryan Swanigan (KOLN))

Even with the tube, other equipment, and training, Bennet is still in need of other resources to have on hand to be able to properly respond to any sort of grain bin rescue.

“We calculated the total expense is about $9,000,” Norris said. Bennet has received a good chunk of that money from multiple sources, including Frontier Cooperative who provided $1,200 to purchase a grain auger. Norris says $4,000 was raised last weekend at the department’s annual pancake breakfast feed and open house.

“We could still use probably another $3,000 or $4,000 to be able to get all the equipment that we need,” he said.

As for Thursday night’s training, it included an informative power point presentation from NECAS, discussing the operations of a grain bin rescue, what to look and watch out for, how to conduct rescue operations, patient care, safety protocols, and so much more. Following the presentation, volunteers took part in training outside the fire station, cutting into grain bin steel and practicing rescue operations with someone inside a simulator, waist-deep in harvested corn.

“In the fire service, it’s a lot of hands on stuff, so you can listen all you want but until you actually get your hand in the grain and start touching tools, you’re not gonna get proficient,” Norris said. “So that why we’re here training.”

(Ryan Swanigan (KOLN))

Norris added that there were so many new aspects to learn from the training, they hope to retain many of the elements that were presented Thursday night to help them when they conduct their own training in the future.