Flemington's Rescue Squad Chief Tom Hoffman applied for a grant through the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety earlier this spring, and the HCTRTF was selected to receive both training and equipment. The NECAS brought a mobile grain bin simulator to Flemington's station from Iowa last night. After a classroom session from NECAS Director Dan Neenan and dinner provided by the Squad, all HCTRTF personnel went outside and had the opportunity to practice techniques using a grain shield and rescue auger to remove grain from around the patient. Personnel played the role of the engulfed patient, gaining an appreciation of how easy it is to become trapped in flowing grain. Personnel also used various cutting tools to practice cutting the metal sheets that make up a grain bin, in the event that product needs to be released in a rapid but controlled fashion to free a patient completely buried in the grain.
Over 100 bushels of wheat were provided by the Zeng Farm in Raritan Township for use in the grain bin simulator. Without their assistance, the training would not have been possible.
Upon completion of the training, the HCTRTF was given the grain shield system, called "The Great Wall of Rescue" used in the program. It will be carried on a Clinton FARS rescue unit, available county-wide (and beyond) when needed through the HCTRTF. The agencies will be looking for additional funding to purchase a JPZ Rescue Auger (retail: $795) demonstrated during the training, which works much faster than manual shoveling within the tube.
The Training Never Ends!