Grain rescue – photo essay

Rescue personnel work to extract one of their members entrapped in a grain bin during a simulation exercise. | Barb Glen photo

Photo essay | The fire department in Magrath, Alta., recently held a training event to teach volunteer firefighters from southern Alberta how to perform grain entrapment rescues. The March 20 session used wheat for the simulation, in part because it is not as itchy as barley. Smaller material such as canola can be even more constrictive on a person who accidentally becomes entrapped in a bin, but regardless of material, entrapment can be fatal. Among other things, firefighters learned how to handle a small auger that extracts grain from around a person trapped in a bin. They ran through the protocol before undertaking a rescue involving actual grain and extraction made possible by a mobile unit dedicated to the purpose. The training unit allows rescue personnel to learn and practice grain extraction using a realistic scenario. | Barb Glen photos

The fire department in Magrath, Alta., recently held a training event to teach volunteer firefighters from southern Alberta how to perform grain entrapment rescues.

The March 20 session used wheat for the simulation, in part because it is not as itchy as barley.

Smaller material such as canola can be even more constrictive on a person who accidentally becomes entrapped in a bin, but regardless of material, entrapment can be fatal.

Among other things, firefighters learned how to handle a small auger that extracts grain from around a person trapped in a bin.

They ran through the protocol before undertaking a rescue involving actual grain and extraction made possible by a mobile unit dedicated to the purpose.

The training unit allows rescue personnel to learn and practice grain extraction using a realistic scenario.

Trainer Tom Littlechild fills the small bin on the grain entrapment training unit in preparation for training rescue personnel. | Barb Glen photo
Firefighters gather before participating in the training session. | Barb Glen photo
A member of the Cardston, Alta., fire department stands inside a “grain dam” as fellow rescue personnel learn the technique of extracting a person trapped in grain. | Barb Glen photo

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