Safety is a top priority at Wheaton-Dumont Coop Elevator.
Recently, the co-op purchased 25 grain bin rescue tubes and has placed one at each of its grain-handling facilities.
In addition, the co-op has donated one unit to every fire department within its trade territory.
So far, 11 fire departments have received a rescue tube from the co-op.
The communities include: Wheaton, Dumont, Graceville, Tintah, and Campbell, MN; Fairmount, Hankinson, and Mantador, ND; New Effington, Sisseton, and Britton, SD.
“We are very happy that we were able to do this for our local communities,” said Philip Deal, general manager at Wheaton-Dumont.
“Agriculture is inherently dangerous and we are all in this together.
"The safety of our staff and our patrons is very important to us because we really depend on each other in these small communities.
"Hopefully, this equipment never gets used; but it will be ready in case of an emergency.”
Dwight Nelson, Safety Director at Wheaton-Dumont said, “There was more than 50 grain-entrapment accidents recorded during 2010.
"Most of them happened on farms. As grain volumes and grain bin sizes continue to increase, this number has been trending higher. With this kind of accident, time is the enemy,” Nelson said.
“With elevators, farm sites, and volunteer firemen spread throughout the country, a lot of time can slip by before rescue workers are on the scene," Nelson continued. To make matters worse, if the accident happens on a farm site, there can be a significant delay in notification. It just made a lot of sense to us to have this equipment duplicated throughout the communities we serve. All of this equipment is interchangeable and all of our grain-handling staff and local firefighters will receive certified training as to how to use it.”
Wheaton-Dumont Co-op Elevator is a locally-owned farmers’ cooperative. With 10 locations in four counties, the coop employs more than 100 people while serving more than 1,200 patrons.