Ohio’s first grain rescue simulator trailer — designed by faculty and students from The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences — is now used to educate first responders, grain industry employees and farm families about the hazards of flowing grain. This simulator maximizes the public-private partnerships between the university, the Ohio Fire Academy and the Ohio agribusinesses that contributed resources toward the project.
The Grain C.A.R.T. (Comprehensive Agricultural Rescue Trailer) is a dynamic teaching aid, said Dee Jepsen, state safety leader for Ohio State University Extension. It enhances safety
education in farm communities and trains first responders who are called to an agricultural scene where grain is stored. It’s used with the Ohio Fire Academy’s agricultural rescue direct-delivery training modules and with OSU Extension’s grain bin rescue outreach education program.
Rescue personnel requested training in these unconventional rescue situations, where they have limited experience and knowledge of the agricultural conditions that exist.
- The need for grain-handling safety programs is significant, considering that every year approximately 26 Ohio farm workers lose their lives to production agriculture. Flowing grain and grain storage is one of the contributing factors. In the past 10 years, 14 Ohio farmers have died due to engulfments in grain bins, entanglements in augers, falls from grain bin-related structures and electrocution.
- Mounted on a 40-foot flatbed trailer, the Grain C.A.R.T. includes a grain bin, a gravity wagon, a grain leg system with augers and other training essentials.
- The Grain C.A.R.T. was used for training in 26 counties on 54 days in fiscal year 2014, according to the Ohio Fire Academy.
- This OSU Extension outreach program presented live demonstrations of grain engulfment and equipment entanglements to the farming community, to grain co-op employees and to first responders — reaching approximately 12,000 participants.
“The value of this partnership is, not only are we providing information to the agricultural community, but also to first responders in those communities. Seventy percent of Ohio is protected by volunteer fire departments, so being able to take this hands-on training to them is valuable,” said Larry Flowers, Ohio state fire marshal.
For more information: agsafety.osu.edu.