Grain bin accidents send shockwaves through rural communities as farmers and grain handlers know all too well how quickly entering a grain bin can turn deadly.
To help prevent these accidents that result in dozens of lives lost each year, Nationwide is providing life-saving resources to rural America's first responders.
In partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), Nationwide is awarding 58 fire departments across the country, including three from Nebraska, with grain rescue tubes and hands-on training to prepare them to respond when local grain entrapments occur.
After receiving more than 1,800 nominations across 45 states in the annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, a key piece of Nationwide's Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign, the insurer and its partners are proud to award grain rescue tubes and training to the following Nebraska fire departments:
- Bennet Rural Fire District, Bennet
- Lawrence Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Service, Lawrence
- Ohiowa Rural Fire Department, Ohiowa
“We are proud to provide first responders the education and resources to lead the fight against local grain bin entrapments,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “It’s been our mission to bring an end to this industry issue by raising awareness of the dangers and suppling needed equipment to the front line rescuers tasked with responding when accidents occur.”
NECAS, based out of Peosta, Iowa, will deliver the rescue tubes and training to the winning fire departments throughout 2022, traveling to each location with state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulators and rescue tubes. The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and rescue simulations using the entrapment tools, which are loaded onto 20-foot trailers and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain each.
With 2022 donations included, Nationwide and partners have supplied these resources to 265 departments across 31 states. At least five fire departments have utilized their rescue tubes and training to successfully rescue entrapped workers.
“It’s as important as ever to be following proper safety precautions when entering a bin,” said Liggett. “Our goal is to continue these efforts until we can ensure every rural fire department has access to these critical rescue resources.”
Nationwide is continuing to work with partners throughout 2022 to provide additional grain rescue tubes and training sessions to fire departments in need. To learn how to get involved and sponsor a rescue tube for your local fire department, visit the Partner With Us webpage.
“Thank you to our generous partners who have supported this cause to put an end to avoidable deaths in rural agricultural communities nationwide,” said Liggett.