Milton fire department given grant for grain bin rescue equipment

December 5, 2023

Milton Fire Department was granted more than $3,000 from insurance company Nationwide toward the purchase of and training with grain bin rescue equipment.

Fire Chief Johnny Hopkins said, “The equipment we were awarded will live on our heavy rescue truck and will be utilized in the event of any grain bin entrapment. I hope that we never have to put it in service. Our district, like many in Sussex County, is still very much a farming community with many farm families that have their own grain-handling facilities on their farm.”

Hopkins said firefighters were trained in using the equipment, which includes panels that are constructed to form a tube, which will help someone stuck in a grain bin be able to get themselves out, and bailing equipment that will remove the grain from the tube. 

According to Nationwide, in 2022 alone, there were at least 42 grain entrapments resulting in 15 deaths. The company, teaming up with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, provided rescue tubes and training to 60 fire departments across the country this year, all in rural areas where grain farming is common.

Brad Liggett, president of agribusiness at Nationwide, said, “Grain bin accidents continue to be a critical issue facing the agriculture industry. We are proud to have supplied these important resources to 60 more rural fire departments in partnership with the many sponsors involved in our grain bin safety efforts. However, the work will not be complete until we can put a stop to these needless accidents altogether.” 


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