Five fire departments in Wayne County were the recipients of GSI RES-Q-Tubes, courtesy of the Wayne County Farm Bureau Foundation and Zurliene Enterprises Inc.
The donation was the culmination of a five month effort by the Wayne County Farm Bureau to solicit financial support for the program.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, volunteers from Cisne, Geff, Fairfield City, Fairfield Rural, Orchardville and Wayne City fire departments participated in grain engulfment training held at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. The training included hazard recognition, lock out - tag out, restraint systems, confined space entry, rigging systems, and use of the coffer dams.
Bill Harp, CEO of the Safety and Technical Rescue Association (STRA) based out of Livonia, Mich., was on hand for the training. The training included two hours of classroom-style work in addition to two hours of hands-on work including how to extract a victim engulfed in grain.
According to STRA, a 165-pound person engulfed to their waist has 325 pounds of downward pressure on their body. That same person engulfed up to their head has 800 pounds of downward pressure. This pressure makes it physically impossible to hoist a person out of grain without the use of the RES-Q-Tube coffer dams.
The RES-Q-Tubes, produced by Grain Systems, Inc. (GSI), separate into four pieces allowing the firemen to carry them up the side and into the top of the grain bin. The pieces are then placed around the victim, and driven down into the grain. Once the victim is surrounded by the coffer dam, a vacuum system is used to remove the grain around the victim. The victim can then be hoisted up out of the grain.
"This project is the greatest undertaking for the Wayne County Farm Bureau Foundation since its inception in 2004," commented Doug Anderson, manager of the Wayne County Farm Bureau. "Through the generosity of the Wayne County community, as well as the financial support of GSI and Zurliene Enterprises, we were able to bring together over $35,000 worth of support for our fire departments," commented Anderson.
At the conclusion of the training, the Cisne, Geff, Fairfield Rural, Orchardville, and Wayne City fire departments were given their own RES-Q-Tube, as well as a donation from the Wayne County Farm Bureau Foundation of $700 to use toward the purchase of support equipment such as ropes, harnesses, and pulleys that will assist with a grain engulfment rescue.
The Wayne County Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Fairfield.