Nationwide’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest open

Grain bin rescue equipment could save lives on Delmarva
March 20, 2023

Nationwide is accepting nominations for local fire departments or emergency rescue teams that would benefit from grain entrapment training and having a grain bin rescue tube.

Entries for Nationwide’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest must explain how the tube and training could be shared with nearby departments.

Submissions are due by Sunday, April 30, at

More grain bin rescue equipment and training in Delaware could have made a recent sand bin rescue easier, according to Jason McCabe, Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief/vice president and Delaware Farm Bureau member.

A call for help came in Feb. 1 from an Atlantic Concrete facility in Dagsboro. Within minutes, the fire department was on site and ready to begin the rescue of a 19-year-old man stuck inside an industrial sand bin. Throughout the day, McCabe, said a slew of emergency personnel from both public and private entities assisted, including members of the Sussex County Technical Rescue Team.

Although Dagsboro VFD doesn’t currently have grain bin rescue tubes on hand, cofferdams were available through other fire departments, some of which had been awarded their rescue equipment and training through generous donations from Mountaire or Nationwide’s annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest.

McCabe emphasized safety for farmers who need to use grain storage systems and promoted Nationwide’s contest, which offers a way for local fire departments to gain rescue equipment and training.

“Having our members nominate their local fire departments to receive these dams is really a powerful way to go. Whether we’re dealing with an emergency or something else, having the tools on hand and having the training is paramount to having the best possible outcome,” McCabe said.

“Every year, grain bin accidents lead to countless injuries or deaths, and it is everyone’s responsibility to take proactive measures to prevent these tragedies from happening,” said Brad Liggett, Nationwide Agribusiness president. “For 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.”

To make the annual contest a success, Nationwide partners with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety along with organizations like the Delaware Farm Bureau. To date, 272 grain rescue tubes have been provided to first responders across 31 states.

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