Grain News

Gold Eagle Cooperative (IA) Donates Grain Bin Rescue Tubes to Area Fire Departments

Date Posted: July 10, 2013

Safety is a top priority at Gold-Eagle Cooperative.

Recently, the coop purchased 8 grain bin rescue tubes and has donated one to each of the fire departments in which we live and serve.

The fire departments of Eagle Grove, Goldfield, Thor, Renwick (also covers Hardy), Livermore, Corwith, Wesley and Titonka will each receive a rescue tube.

Training sessions will be organized with Jerry Eslick of Professional Rescue Innovations who brings a portable simulator for firefighters to practice.

“We are donating eight aluminum rescue tubes which break down into six sections, allowing them to fit through the smallest hatches found on certain grain bins.

"The tubes are assembled around the victims featuring steps that rescuers use to push them down into the pile, so that the grain can be siphoned out from around the trapped person.

"In effect, they are portable cofferdams,” said Jeff Mericle, Safety Director at Gold-Eagle Cooperative.

Over the past 40 years more than 600 individuals have been engulfed and suffocated in grain.

These incidents occur in grain storage structures, grain storage piles and grain transport vehicles.

Based upon research conducted at Purdue University, approximately 80 percent of the cases documented that involved a partially entrapped victim, resulted in a fatality.

Historically 70 percent of entrapments have been on the farm and 30 percent at commercial locations.

“With this type of accident, time is the enemy.” Mericle said.

“With elevators, farm sites and the volunteer firemen spread out throughout the country side, a lot of time can slip by before rescue workers are on the scene.

"To make matters even more detrimental, if this accident happens on a farm site, there can be a significant delay in the notification of rescue personnel.

"It just made a lot of sense to us to have this equipment throughout the communities we serve.

"Of course we pray that this piece of equipment never has to be used, but it will be ready in case of an emergency.

"Agriculture remains to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the country and we are all in this together, we depend on each other in these small rural communities.”

Gold-Eagle Cooperative is a locally-owned farmers’ cooperative with 9 grain elevators, two feed mills and an ethanol plant all located throughout four counties.

The coop employs more than 200 employees while serving more than 1500 patrons.

For more information, call 515-824-3214.

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