DES MOINES, Iowa — Every year, thousands of farmers and commercial grain handlers risk their lives by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As rural communities have come to know all too well, an accident in a grain bin can quickly turn deadly. In just seconds, adults can sink to their waist in flowing grain, rendering them completely trapped without the proper rescue devices. These accidents result in dozens of lost lives each year, and deaths have spiked in 2019 and early 2020 due to the wet harvest.
To lead the fight against these all-too-common accidents, the country’s leading insurer of farms and ranches1, Nationwide, in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), is awarding 41 fire departments across the country with life-saving grain rescue tubes and hands-on training to prepare them to respond when grain accidents occur.
In 2014, Nationwide initiated its Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign to educate those entering grain bins about the hazards involved and the importance of implementing safe entry procedures. A central piece of the campaign, the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, aims to address the lack of specialized resources available to rural fire departments who are responding to bin entrapments. With 2020’s donations included, Nationwide has awarded grain rescue tubes and training to 152 fire departments in 30 states.
After receiving 1,006 nominations in this year’s contest, Nationwide and its partners are proud to award grain rescue tubes and training to the following 41 fire departments:
- Adams Rural Fire, Adams, NE
- Addieville Community Fire Protection District, Addieville, IL
- Avoca Fire Department, Avoca, PA
- Berlin Township Fire Department, Berlin Heights, OH
- Bleckley County Fire, Cochran, GA
- Brainard Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, Brainard, NE
- Burlingame/Osage County Fire District No. 6, Burlingame, KS
- Camden Township Fire Department, Kipton, OH
- Campbellsport Volunteer Fire Department, Campbellsport, WI
- Carlisle Fire Company, Milford, DE
- Carter Fire District, Dale, IN
- Chilton Fire Department, Chilton, WI
- Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, Crothersville, IN
- DeRuyter Fire, DeRuyter, NY
- Drayton Fire Department, Drayton, ND
- Earling Fire and Rescue Department, Earling, IA
- Ellis County Fire Department, Hays, KS
- Gilt Edge Volunteer Fire Department, Burlison, TN
- Goodwill Fire Company, Centreville, MD
- Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire, Grimes, IA
- Hartwick Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Hartwick, IA
- Hazelton Township Fire Department, New Lothrop, MI
- Hospers Fire, Hospers, IA
- Hoyleton Fire Protection District, Hoyleton, IL
- Iron Ridge Fire, Iron Ridge, WI
- Jordan Fire Department, Jordan, MN
- Laura Fire Department, Laura, OH
- Lu Verne Fire Department, Lu Verne, IA
- Miesville Fire Department, Hastings, MN
- Nerstrand Fire Rescue, Nerstrand, MN
- Nevada Fire, Nevada, MO
- New Haven Volunteer Fire Department, New Haven, VT
- New Salem Volunteer Fire Department, Marshville, NC
- The Odessa Fire Company, Odessa, DE
- Peach Orchard Volunteer Fire Department, Peach Orchard, AR
- Poole Community Fire Department, Sebree, KY
- Rockingham County Fire and Rescue, Harrisonburg, VA
- Shelburn Fire Department, Sullivan, IN
- St. Olaf Fire Department, St. Olaf, IA
- Tri Cities Fire Protection District, Jasper, MO
- Womelsdorf Volunteer Fire Company, Womelsdorf, PA
“We began our Grain Bin Safety campaign in 2014 to support the agriculture community and put an end to avoidable deaths from individuals entering grain bins without recognizing the dangers and taking precautions,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness. “Thanks to the generous and increasing support of our partners, I’m extremely proud to say that we’re providing more rescue tubes and training to first responders this year than we have ever before.”
NECAS, based out of Peosta, IA, will deliver the tubes and training to the winning fire departments throughout 2020. Since 2014, four fire departments have put their rescue tubes and training to action by rescuing workers trapped in grain bins.
According to United Press International reports, grain bin deaths spiked last year and in early 2020 due to last season’s wet harvest. In February 2020, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue brought a national spotlight to Nationwide’s efforts by proclaiming Feb. 16-22 as National Grain Bin Safety Week.
“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.”
The program is supported by Nationwide and the following generous partners:
- CHS, Corteva AgriScience, KC Supply, Lutz Agency, Inc., NECAS, ProValue Insurance, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau®, AGI SureTrack, Delaware Farm Bureau®, GROWMARK, Kathy Barry Agency, Maryland Farm Bureau®, New York Farm Bureau®, Ohio Farm Bureau®, Specialty Risk Insurance, Springer Insurance and Financial Services, ABIS Agri-Business Insurance Services, Carter Fire District, First Gabrielson Agency, Frazer Insurance Agency, Gallagher, German American Insurance, Graves-Fearon Agency, Miami County Ohio Farm Bureau®, Scoular, West Side Salvage, GIT Insurance, Grimes Financial & Insurance Group, Stuber Insurance Agency, Sump Saver, Nohr Wortmann Engineering
1 Source: By direct written premium, AM Best (2018)
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
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