Fremont firefighters learn vital grain bin rescue training

Grain is often described as quick sand.

If proper safety equipment isn’t worn when working in grain bins, it could lead to fatal scenarios.

With the help of classroom training and simulations, trainers with the Metropolitan Community College are showing first responders from the Fremont Fire Department in depth procedures on how to rescue those trapped.

“It could range from engulfment, to entrapment, to bad atmosphere. We’ve got to take a certain set of procedures and safety factors to help mitigate these before we actually make entry to get into these grain bins to assist anyone that may be trapped,” Nick Gang wish with Metropolitan Community College said. 

Captain Pat Tawney said they do this training twice a year to ensure that it’s never forgotten.

“It forces us to get those bags out of the truck and get your hands on them. Put them up there and do what we have to do,” Captain Tawney said. 

It’s training like they learned Tuesday that played a vital role in ensuring the crews safety Sunday night when they recovered a worker’s body that was trapped in a 125 foot grain bin.

Those fatal scenarios are something training could never simulate.

“They’re rescuing a dummy out of a hole and that’s great but if that’s somebody you know or someone’s child or someone’s brother or cousin up there, that’s a different scenario,” Captain Tawney said. 

Both Tawney and the trainers said, the high intensity situations are a matter of life or death and taking a step back to properly asses the situation at hand is of the utmost importance.

“Real world there’s going to be a lot of emotions going. A lot of these happen in rural settings where the people that are trapped. By-standers or the first responders are going to know the person that’s involved in this incident so what everyone has to do is take a deep breath, assess the situation and go about it as safely as possible,” Gang wish said. 

Captain Tawney said Sunday nights tragedy is an unfortunate reminder of why this training is important and the significance of wearing proper safety gear in grain bins.

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