Entrapments, Moldy Corn Trigger Grain Bin Rescue Workshops

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Grain bin entrapments are on the rise in 2010 as farmers move out-of-condition or moldy corn from storage, so Purdue University farm safety specialists are hosting workshops in June to teach life-saving grain storage rescue techniques.

"The condition of the corn last fall, combined with the length of the harvest, created a sense of urgency for farmers to get the grain out of the fields," said Steve Wettschurack, Purdue farm accident rescue specialist. "Farmers are now having trouble getting that moldy and caked grain out of the bins, which has the potential to cause entrapments and suffocations."

Oftentimes, when grain clumps in the bin, farmers will enter the structure to try to loosen it. If they're trying to break up clumps from below, or if they're walking on grain that has bridged, a collapse can quickly trap them. The same can happen after entering a bin with an unloading auger still running - something Wettschurack said farmers should never do.

Because farmers can become engulfed in grain quickly, rescues are challenging. It is essential that farm operators, fire and rescue personnel, and grain elevator employees have the proper training in the event of an emergency.

"In many fire and rescue organizations there can be a high turnover rate, and many of the rescuers have little farm experience," Wettschurack said. "This type of extrication is different from any other rescue, so the workshops will cover techniques, new equipment and ways to use standard farm and rescue equipment."

Workshops will be at the following Indiana locations:

* June 5. Davis-Purdue Agricultural Center, 6230 N. State Road 1, Farmland.

* June 9. Pinney-Purdue Agricultural Center, 11402 S. County Line Road, Wanatah.

* June 11 and 12. Purdue Agronomy Farm, 4540 U.S. 52, West Lafayette.

* June 22. Northeast-Purdue Agricultural Center, 4821 E. 400 S., Columbia City.

* June 24. Feldun-Purdue Agricultural Center, 923 State Road 458, Bedford.

*June 26. Southeast-Purdue Agricultural Center, 4425 E. County Road 350 N., Butlerville.

Registration of $65 per person includes lunch and refreshments. Because of limited space, participants must register in advance to Wettschurack at 765-714-4557, swettsch@purdue.edu. Those wishing to participate in the June 5 session should register as soon as possible.

Source: Steve Wettschurack, Purdue University News



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