Leonardtown, Mechanicsville, and Bel Alton Volunteer Fire Departments Awarded Grain Bin Rescue Equipment and Training

August 8, 2022

Nationwide, in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) awarded 58 departments grain bin rescue equipment and training in 2022.

This year, Leonardtown VFD, Bel Alton VFD, and the Mechanicsville VFD were awarded training and equipment.

The equipment is all the same and interoperable, allowing the 3 departments to be able to easily expand their systems and provide aid to each other seamlessly. Each system contains 6 panels and one drill operated auger to rapidly remove the contents around the patient once the panels are in place.

The training began with a classroom session on how grain bins operate, common hazards, and response tactics.

Afterwards, department personnel were able to cycle thru a trailed grain bin response simulator.

This system allowed rescuers to set the panels and auger in place as we would on a real incident.

Thank you to all the organizations who made this, and all the awards nationally, possible.

St. Mary’s County has approximately 114 grain storage facilities.

All photos are courtesy of the Leonardtown, Mechanicsville and Bel Alton Volunteer Fire Departments. NAS Patuxent River Fire Department, and Tina Bowles of Bowles Farm!

About the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS)

The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) is dedicated to preventing illnesses, injuries and deaths among farmers and ranchers, agricultural and horticultural workers, their families and their employees.

Our concern for safety in rural areas goes beyond farms and ranches. The need for services spreads from citrus groves in the South to vineyards in the West. It covers cattle ranches in Wyoming, fisheries in Maine and thousands of ventures in between.

NECAS offers training and rescue programs for a variety of topics and also provides webinars to increase awareness for agricultural safety. Our trainings and rescue programs have resulted in 32 lives saved nationwide.

For years, the National Safety Council (NSC) helped raise awareness of safety issues in rural communities.

In 1994, a pilot course was held at Northeast Iowa Community College, and the partnership was so well received Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed legislation providing $1 million to construct a farm safety training center.

In 1997, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) opened its doors to the farming community with a facility on the NICC Peosta campus. NECAS is the only organization with a hands-on farm equipment safety training center. The facility also houses classrooms, a library and a resource center.

NECAS has been helping to keep farms safe since 1944 when the National Safety Council encouraged President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sign the first National Farm Safety Week proclamation, bringing attention to the hazards and risks of farm work. National Farm Safety and Health Week has been recognized by presidential proclamation from every president since then.

NECAS has expanded its reach by developing partnerships with colleges and other educational centers across the country. We work closely with agribusiness personnel and other organizations that share our goals. Our staff are exploring new routes to bring safety and health messages home to rural communities. We are working to partner and exchange ideas with our neighbors in Canada and other countries.

Services – Like any business, agriculture can be financially set back by safety violations, injuries, illnesses and deaths. NECAS offers safety education and proactive programs to help prevent incidents that affect your agribusiness safety and welfare.