Grain bin safety and rescue training nominations due April 30

February 20, 2024

In observance of National Grain Bin Safety Week, which runs through Saturday, Feb. 24, the Delaware Farm Bureau joins the agriculture community in urging grain bin safety procedures for farmers and awareness among first responders.

Just this year, an individual became engulfed in a grain bin Jan. 1 in Indiana, and three days later, two more people were trapped in Arkansas. These cases highlight growing numbers of grain entrapment cases across the nation, up nearly 45% since 2021. In both cases, local first responders promptly began their rescue operations, using specialized equipment and training they received through Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety program to successfully rescue all three victims.

To help raise awareness of these dangers and prevent tragic accidents in grain structures, Nationwide has opened its 11th annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest. The aim is to supply fire departments across rural America with the specialized rescue training and equipment needed to respond if an entrapment occurs.To nominate a local fire department by Tuesday, April 30, go to

In 2023, Milton Fire Department was one of 60 departments in rural areas around the country to receive equipment and training for grain bin rescues. The equipment comprises a metal tube that firefighters can use to help bail out grain.

In 2022, at least 42 grain entrapments were reported, the highest number in a decade and a 44.8% increase from 2021. There were 15 fatalities.

In four seconds, an adult can sink knee-deep in flowing grain and be rendered unable to free themselves without assistance. In just 20 seconds, an adult can be fully engulfed.

Suffocation from engulfment or oxygen-deficient atmospheres is the leading cause of death in grain accidents.

More than 300 grain entrapments have been recorded in the past decade. It’s estimated an additional 30% of cases go unreported.

“Grain bins pose very serious dangers to workers, as entrapments can escalate quickly and are life-threatening if proper safety procedures aren’t followed when working in or around them,” said Brad Liggett, president of agribusiness at Nationwide. “For over a decade, Nationwide has been a leader in the fight to correct this industry issue, and while we’re incredibly proud of the efforts and the many partners who’ve made them possible, there is more work to be done.”

Since 2014, Nationwide and partners have awarded 332 grain rescue tubes to first responders across 32 states, with well over $1 million in resources provided. At least 10 successful rescue efforts have utilized these resources, including the recent rescues in Arkansas and Indiana. Nationwide collaborates each year with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety to deliver the rescue equipment and provide safety training.

“Time is of the essence when responding to these accidents, and rural fire departments are often the only line of defense when an entrapment takes place in their region,” said Dan Neenan, director at NECAS. “It’s critically important to ensure these first responders not only have the specialized rescue equipment, but also the training needed to respond effectively. NECAS is proud to join Nationwide and its partners to make a difference.” For more information, go to

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