Two rural volunteer fire departments in Nebraska were awarded grain bin rescue tubes through Nationwide Insurance’s grain bin safety initiative.
Adams Rural Fire and Brainard Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department were among 41 fire departments to receive the devices this year.
According to Nationwide Associate Vice President of Risk Management Jason Berkland, the company’s grain bin safety initiative, which was launched in 2014, has awarded 152 fire departments in 30 states.
Berkland said the company saw a spike in grain bin entrapments in late 2019 through early 2020 due to a wet harvest in 2019.
“The tubes and training, it’s not a cheap investment,” said Berkland. “With volunteer fire departments, a lot of their money is going to other programs, so we’ve partnered with many sponsors and the general public in the donations and nominations of their fire departments.”
Click here to listen to Jason Berkland.
Berkland said when an individual is entrapped, the rescue tube, which comes in pieces, is built around the entrapped person. Once the tube is formed, it stops grain from flowing and filling up. The grain is then augered out, enabling the entrapped person to climb out of the tube from the ladder on the inside.
According to Berkland, over 1,000 applications were received in 2019. Applications for the program are accepted year-round.
Nominate a fire department and learn more about Nationwide’s safety initiative at thinkgrainbinsafety.com