TFD takes part in grain silo extrication training

TFD takes part in grain silo extrication training
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo Fire Department's Special Operations Team didn't train with flames Tuesday, but rather grain.

They were learning the best way to get a victim out of a grain silo or elevator alive.

"Everything we do here is about safety," Toledo Fire and Rescue Private Sterling Rahe explained.

This training would not be possible if it wasn't for the grain cart used Tuesday.

It's the only one like it in the nation, built by five Ohio State University students. It now traveling across the state with Ohio Fire Academy instructors aboard to offer a chance for first responders to practice rescue techniques.

"We cant replicate this in a training session so to have this available to us is invaluable," Private Rahe said.

Training that may be even more valuable for rural fire departments who are more likely to respond to an emergency call like this.

"There's a lot of departments across the state, especially volunteer departments, they don't have the income that most places have," Andy Bauer of Ohio Fire Academy said.

Farmers become at risk for an accident when they walk on top of the grain and it gives way

"It's too easy for someone to make a mistake to say, 'I will be okay, I will only be in there a minute,' and get in trouble and get buried," Bauer explained.

One victim used in the training was only buried waist deep but many victim's in accidents like these are found fully submerged.

The weight of the grain puts too much pressure on a person's body to allow them to escape on their own and can even lead to a slow death.

"These first responders have to act quickly because they are concerned the victim could suffocate not just from the pure force of the corn or grain around their body but because they could get sucked further down," Bauer said.

This training better prepares these firefighters for not just a grain silo or elevator accident but even for other extrications like a trench rescue.

All lessons learned that will be passed along to others on TFD.

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