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Fair Grove, Mo. Fire District receives grain bin rescue equipment

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:06 AM CDT
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FAIR GROVE, Mo. (KY3) - A life-saving piece of equipment and training has been awarded to the Fair Grove Fire Protection District from Nationwide Insurance.

Fire Chief Randall Hoskins said rescue tubes will assist with pulling out someone if they become trapped. The department will receive hands on training.

Hoskins said the equipment should be delivered soon, leading to training this fall. He said the cost of the grant is around $8,000, but because of Nationwide Insurance it will be free.

“We cover a very rural area,” said Hoskins. “We covered 96-square miles here. It could be a good time frame for another agency potentially that had this equipment to respond. So now that we’re able to have this equipment gear in house is absolutely going to be vital in cutting down on those precious minutes that could possibly save someone’s life.”

A Fair Grove, Mo. farmer Phil Sutherland said grain is similar to quicksand and once you take the wrong step it’s nearly impossible to get out without assistance. Sutherland said his farm added grain bins about six years ago. And recently more farmers are adding them because of the demand of grain here in southwest Missouri.

”The more you struggle, the more you sink and eventually you just go down you would suffocate in that,” said Sutherland. “It’s just very important to be able to have something close to where you can get out quick. “The biggest fear is if you’re taking grain out you’ll have a void in it and you can step on a place and it’ll just cave in. It’s kind of like a sinkhole. Once you go down in that you’re done.”

Nationwide awarded 200 fire departments across the country with the equipment and training, with at least four successful rescues since 2014.

Sutherland says when working in the bin there’s always a person and a rope nearby, but if an accident were to happen, he feels confident knowing trained professionals are just minutes away. The farmer says it puts him at ease knowing there’s trained professionals just down the road if an accident were to happen.

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