Many of our rural first responders are farmers as well. That makes winter a good down time to be thinking about additional training to help save lives in the future.
IL Corn, together with the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois and the Illinois Fire Institute, has worked on changes to the grain entrapment training process that make training local volunteer fire departments more manageable and affordable.
The training will now be an extremely effective 40 hours instead of 96 hours. Included in the 40 hours are 8 hours of lecture and 32 hours of hands-on experience.
Volunteer fire departments will be able to participate and be trained while only giving up two weekends of their time. Since many of the firefighters are volunteers, this change is extremely important.
The new training program is recognized and approved on a national platform.
Additionally, to offset the cost for small communities and volunteers, IL Corn Marketing Board is considering opportunities to fund individuals interested in completing the certification. The total cost to participate is $1,000.
The new training program follows IL Corn’s efforts to map the locations of grain rescue tubes available throughout the state. We hope to provide resources to make finding the nearest rescue tube easy and effective, in addition to helping volunteers use the rescue tubes effectively.
Ultimately, the goal is always to save lives.
According to the Illinois Fire Service Institute, there have been 900 grain bin entrapments nationwide in the past 50 years. The ages of those trapped are typically 12-18 years and over 55 years old.
Sixty percent of grain bin entrapment deaths are related to untrained rescuers and about 50 percent of the fatalities occur after the rescue has begun.
The first pilot training course will be held in January 2017 at Asmark in Bloomington.
You can read more about this program at Illinois Fire Service Institute here.
Photo courtesy of Illinois Fire Service Institute