Grain News

Arthur Fire Dept. (IL), Cargill, and Okaw Farmers Join Forces to Purchase Grain Rescue Tube

Date Posted: April 29, 2014

This article is reprinted by permission from the April 17, 2014 issue of the Arcola (IL) Record-Herald.

Three entities have come together for a joint venture.

The Arthur (IL) Fire Department, Cargill, Inc., Tuscola, IL, and Okaw Farmers Coop, Inc., Cadwell, IL, have joined together and purchased a grain rescue tube to be used in grain entrapment accidents.

"Even though grain entrapments and fatalities from entrapments have been on the decline, there is still a possibility we will be called to rescue someone, and if that time ever comes, we need to be ready as possible," said Steve Honn.

Honn is an area farmer, volunteer fireman, and director on the board of Okaw Farmers Coop, Inc.

Honn approached the three entities after a grant he applied for fell through to purchase one.

In 2010, there were 59 entrapments in the U.S. and that number fell to 33 in 2013, with half of these ending in fatalities.

"In the last couple of years, we have experienced more entrapments in Illinois than in the past," said Gary Smith, Okaw Farmers operations manager and Lovington fire chief.

With Arthur and Lovington responding to several areas through mutual aid, and Cargill and Okaw Farmers Coop, having elevators and customers with on-farm storage bins in these areas, it was not hard to convince each other of the need for a grain tube.

It will be stored at the Arthur Fire Department and can be enroute in a short timeframe.

Arthur Fire is looking in on training with area departments to assist if ever needed.

"We hope that we won't have to use the rescue tube, but the area department will be ready if needed," said Smith.

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