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Grain bin rescue practice

County fire departments were invited to a grain bin rescue training session at Hochgesang Farms on Monday evening.

The Jasper Fire Department organized the training, allowing firefighters to run through a rescue scenario using the specialized equipment for these types of emergencies.

While the firefighters seemed to have fun in the corn containers as they worked through the scenarios and practiced Monday evening, the training provided familiarization with the equipment and processes involved in the rescue.

Volunteer firefighters from Jasper, Huntingburg, Haysville, and Dubois gathered Monday evening for training on grain bin rescues. The group toured Hochgesang Farms’ new 200,000-bushel grain bin before practicing the rescues in nearby loaders full of corn.
Firefighters climbed to the top of the new grain bin. Though they can cut through the walls near the top of the bin where it is thinner, in a rescue situation, firefighters will likely have to access the bin through the top.
To keep from sinking into the corn/grain, the rescuers use plastic soda or milk crates to create a more stable surface from which to work.
Firefighters Patrick Durcholz, Adam Roth, and Jeremy Johnson test out standing on the crates while Cody Schmitt prepares to be the first victim in the training exercise.
Firefighters use interlocking plastic or aluminum panels to create a tube around an entrapped individual (in this case, Jasper Firefighter Cody Kreilein). Once the panels are in place, rescuers use a high-power vacuum or rescue auger to remove the grain around the victim until pressure is relieved and they can be removed.
The aluminum version of the interlocking panels used to create a coffer dam around the victim. Firefighters took turns removing ‘victims’ from the four feet of corn in two containers at Hochgesang Farms Monday evening. Firefighter Evan Schum wore ear protection due to the loud noise from the panels being hammered into the corn.
Adam Roth reacted as a shovelful of corn was thrown over him as they prepared to demonstrate another rescue.
Lt. Leighton Hochgesang with the Jasper Fire Department dumped out his boot after completing a rotation in the training.
Here are the different scenarios in which grain entrapments can occur.