Local firefighters attend grain extrication classes

By Susan Edmonston
Western Star – March 19, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 9, 2015

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Ashland Rural Fire and Farmers Coop hosted a Grain Engulfment Rescue training school last Wednesday and Thursday evenings March 11 and 12.

The rescue training is a cooperative project led by the Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute and Kansas University and sponsored by the Kansas Cooperative Council, the Kansas Grain and Feed Association and Kansas Fire Association. The training’s goal is to prepare grain facility management and plant personnel and fire department personnel for their roles in the event of a grain bin engulfment incident.

Instructor for the school was Laramie McPherson with the KUF&RTI and a firefighter for the Shawnee Heights Fire Department.

Wednesday’s classroom training was at the Ashland Fire Department where technical information, hazards in grain facilities and roles and responsibilities were reviewed. Awareness, prevention and emergency actions such as policies and procedures were included. The importance of mutual aid and knowing how to use equipment was stressed.

Thursday the hands-on training was at the Protection Farmers Co-op using the self-contained 35′ semi-trailer equipped with grain bin, hopper and storage compartments. It includes a grain dump for unloading, an auger for moving grain between bin and hopper and has its own lighting, power, and tools so the trailer can be on-site at an elevator or fire department for the course.

The instructor said the training has been very popular, since the tractor-trailer combination has been driven over 60,000 miles across the state since the training began in 2012.

Firefighters and grain company employees practiced confined space entry, the use of safety and rescue equipment, and methods of breaching grain bins and grain release. They were exposed to the feeling and restrictions of grain engulfment.

Learning methods of rescue, problems encountered during grain rescues, and victim protection methods were part of the training.

Participating in the two-day training representing Comanche County Fire Department were Greg Ellis, Tylyn Jackson, Garth Koehn, Brock Loesch, Debra Adams, and Raymond Affeldt. Representing Farmers Coop were Joe Booth, Kevin Davis, Rusty Frazier, Greg Ellis and Brock Loesch.

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