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Grain Entrapment Rescue Demo Gives Important Lessons

Demo covered equipment, steps to ensure a safe rescue, and tips for communicating

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Carol jones grain demo GEAPS 2022

Dr. Carol Jones, with the Biosystems and Ag Engineering department at Oklahoma State University, narrated how her team rescues victims from a grain bin at GEAPS Exchange 2022 in Kansas City.

Using volunteers and a model grain bin attached to a semi-trailer, Jones covered the equipment needed for a rescue, the steps needed to ensure a safe rescue and tips for communicating with the victim.

Key equipment and product include air monitors for detecting CO2 and oxygen levels inside the bin, sturdy grates to enable rescuers to walk on the grain’s surface, a cofferdam and a steel pipe.

“Use the pipe to probe around the victim because people don’t fall into the grain straight,” Jones said. “The probe will help you locate the victims limbs.”

Once the limbs are located, a cofferdam can safely be placed around the victim. There are a variety of options available on the market today. Jones noted any fire department or grain elevator can also use a sheet of plywood and zip ties to fashion a simple cofferdam.

The demonstration concluded with removing the grain from the cofferdam until you can see the victim’s feet and raising the victim from the bin with a harness system.

“If grain is up the victim’s knees, they will still need help out of the cofferdam to some degree, so we remove grain until you can see their feet,” Jones says.

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