McPherson firefighters win grain bin tube, training for rescue experience


Valuable training, that’s what firefighters in McPherson are calling an experience they had this week thanks to Nationwide Insurance. 

It’s part of a program that provides fire departments rescue equipment and training for an emergency.

This year McPherson firefighters are just one of 29 teams across the country to experience bin rescue training, and they say they feel more prepared than ever for this type of emergency.

The McPherson Fire Department responds to large and small fire emergencies, but they also get other calls for help.

“We had a grain bin rescue a couple years ago, and they repeatedly happen across the state of Kansas,” said Chief Jeff Deal, McPherson Fire Department.

That’s why Chief Deal says they’re thankful for the grant they received from Nationwide Insurance for grain bin rescue training and equipment. Wednesday the team used it with a simulated grain bin led by an agriculture safety trainer.

“We lowered them into the grain, lowered them to about waist deep in a controlled environment,” said Deal.

And used their new $3,000 dollar tool.

“Once we’ve evacuated enough grain out from around him, no more grain is going to come in on this side and we can hook onto him and pull him up out of the grain,” said Deal.

The firefighters played different roles with the exercise, some experiencing what it’s like to be trapped.

“Strange knowing that when you get so far down, into the grain, you can’t get out of it, it’s a scary feeling.” said Captain Kelly Pauls, McPherson Fire Department.

A hands-on activity that the team says, has prepared them for the call.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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