10 Maryland Fire Departments Win Life-Saving Grain Rescue Tube Equipment

November 10, 2023

Grain bins play a pivotal role in agriculture, offering secure storage and protection for large amounts of grain before sale or processing. However, these structures can present serious hazards – including entrapment, suffocation, and even death.

Thanks to the nominations of local Marylanders, 10 Maryland Fire Departments have won grain bin rescue equipment through Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign.

In addition, 2 Maryland Fire Departments will receive retraining on grain bin rescues. Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB), a dedicated partner of Nationwide, played a pivotal role in facilitating this program with a generous donation and a nomination process organized through local county Farm Bureau chapters

Winners of Rescue Tubes from Maryland:

  • Anne Arundel County Fire & EMS Department (Anne Arundel)
  • Cobb Island Volunteer Fire & EMS Department (Charles)
  • Easton Volunteer Fire Department (Talbot)
  • Hereford Volunteer Fire Company (Baltimore County)
  • Laytonsville District Volunteer Fire Department (Montgomery)
  • Linkwood-Salem Volunteer Fire Company (Dorchester)
  • Marion Fire Department (Somerset)
  • Oakland Volunteer Fire Department (Garrett)
  • Reisterstown Fire Department (Baltimore County)
  • Singerly Fire Company (Cecil)

Winners of Retraining:

  • Funkstown Volunteer Fire Company (Washington)
  • Goodwill Fire Company (Queen Anne’s)

The training is led by the Director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) Dan Neenan. The hands-on component consists of a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator loaded on a 20-foot trailer and able to hold 100 bushels of grain. Attending EMS and fire department personnel practice proper lock out/tag out and extrication procedures for both a fully engulfed and partially engulfed victim.

“Maryland Farm Bureau is committed to the safety of our state’s food producers,” said Parker Welch, Executive Director of MDFB. “We are thrilled to team up with our partners at Nationwide to equip our courageous first responders with the training and resources necessary to prevent these tragedies.”

According to the 2022 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities, more than 300 grain entrapments have been recorded in the past decade. In 2021, at least 29 grain entrapments were reported, resulting in 11 fatalities. Every February, MDFB celebrates National Grain Bin Safety Week to bring awareness to the dangers that grain bins can pose when safety measures are not enforced.

Click here for footage of a recent grain bin rescue training seminar with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, facilitated by Nationwide, MDFB, and NECAS.

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.