VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – Getting trapped in a grain bin not a typical call Scott Township Fire receives but they want to be prepared for whenever they may be needed.
With new equipment, they are getting the training they need to complete a successful rescue.
“Even though we’ve been fortunate enough not to have the need for this equipment yet we do realize that about three grain bin rescues occur in Indiana a year and it’s just a matter of time before something like that happens around here,” division chief of Scott Township training & operations Patrick Fisher said.
In June farmer Phillip Schmidt was saved by a similar device in Richland, IN, as the grain started to over power him quickly.
“It’s kind of like trying to swim up hill in a real swift water, stream. nothing, everything keeps sliding down from out under you,” Schmidt said. “I’m well blessed and very fortunate I didn’t get any bruises I didn’t get any skins.”
Doug Omer was also rescued from a grain bin using similar equipment and says it can be a very overwhelming experience.
“I hear this little tinkle and I just turn around and there was about a four foot wall of grain,” Omer explained. “Ankle deep to mid-chest in seconds.”
The team began their training in the classroom before receiving hands on training in a controlled environment.
“The most important part for volunteers and career firefighters is actually get to deploy the training with their hands and get that tactile experience hands one with the cycle motor skill set that goes along with that,” division chief Fisher said.
Firefighter and EMT Justin Reising played victim for one of the training exercises and was surprised how fast the grain smothered him.
“I sunk fairly quickly and I was surprised I was waist deep and from there on I couldn’t move,” Reising said. “I was kind of shocked how quickly the pressure got to my legs.”
Perry Township and Mccutchanville Fire departments also took part in the training as well.
Chief Fisher says grain bin entrapments are one of the high risk low frequency events that an emergency service can be called for in the area but it’s better to be ready when the call comes in than to be unprepared.