DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. — Each year, farmers and grain handlers risk their lives when they enter large grain bins to remove clumped or rotting grain while machinery is still running. Much like quicksand, flowing grain can bury a worker within seconds.
Because these accidents have become all too common, Nationwide is launching the sixth annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in recognition of Grain Bin Safety Week. The goal is to prevent injuries from happening by widely sharing safe bin-entry procedures, such as maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases and wearing proper safety equipment.
“Maryland Farm Bureau is proud to support this great cause to help save lives,” said Emily Solis, communications specialist. “We hope you’ll join us in promoting this contest by getting the word out to family, friends and businesses and encouraging them to nominate their local fire department. Contest winners will receive a grain rescue tube and rescue training.”
Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded grain bin rescue tubes and training to 77 fire departments in 24 states. The Westphalia Fire Department in Kansas and the Glenville Fire Department in Minnesota have both put their tubes and training to action — saving the lives of farmers trapped in grain bins. A third life has been saved too.
“The work that farmers do is critical to the fabric of America, and their jobs are often dangerous,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness, the No. 1 farm insurer1. “That’s why Nationwide is committed to helping first responders save lives, and we’re proud to give them the necessary tools and training. It is imperative to increase access to rescue tubes and comprehensive training so that we can help protect those who serve us every day.”
Grain Bin Safety Week runs this year from Feb. 17-23, and nominations for the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30. Both are supported by Nationwide and the following partners:
- KC Supply
- Specialty Risk Insurance
- Specialty Risk Insurance Southwest
- David Larson Financial and Insurance Services, Inc.
- Agri-Business Insurance Services
- The Scoular Company
- The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety
- First Gabrielson Insurance Agency
- Lutz Agency Inc.
- Grosskreutz Crop Insurance
- Donner Farber & Associates
- Cornerstone Insurance Services
- Stuber Insurance Agency
- Sump Saver
— Maryland Farm Bureau