Phil Thornton

Dec 18, 2014  |  Today's News

A new app released today on iTunes and Google Play Stores will help rural elevators, fire departments and other emergency personnel to save lives.

The Illinois Grain Rescue Tube Locator app uses a GPS system to locate the nearest grain rescue tube to your location, a key component when saving farm workers from drowning in grain filled storage bins.

Illinois Corn Marketing Board, together with the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, built this tool to try to save lives, and to help build awareness that grain bin entrapments and engulfments make agriculture one of the most dangerous industries in Illinois.

“IL Corn began building this app to try to fill a need for more lifesaving equipment,” said Lou Lamoreux, Illinois Corn Marketing Board Chairman.  “Every year, we see farmers getting into grain bins when we all know that we shouldn’t and every year someone passes away because of this mistake.  This app will help ensure that a grain rescue tube can always be located nearby.”

“We see this app as another tool in the toolbox if an unfortunate situation occurs and someone is entrapped.  By downloading the app ahead of time and having it available, we can speed up the process to save a life,” John Lee, Director of Safety, Health, Environmental Services Program, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois.

There have been more than 900 grain-bin entrapments nationwide since 1964, according to data compiled by Purdue University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program.  Illinois had 10 grain entrapments in 2010 alone.

“Grain entrapment deaths are a completely avoidable problem.  IL Corn wants to force farmers to think before they step into a full bin, and to provide a means for quicker rescue if a bad situation occurs,” said Lamoreux.

The app currently maps the location of available grain safety tubes in Illinois.  IL Corn and Grain and Feed Association of Illinois urge other states to consider investing in similar databases for their state, potentially even using the already existing framework.

To quickly download the Illinois Grain Rescue Tube Locator, use the QR code to the right.