STAR CITY —
Danely was one of several emergency personnel on scene last year when a Clymers farmworker was pulled from an 18th Street grain elevator using ropes and a large vacuum.
Education and prevention is the most important part in training to prevent engulfment that can end in fatality, said George Lovell, Chief Operations Officer with SATRA.
In 2008, there were 34 engulfments and 17 fatalities nationwide, Lovell said. The next year, 41 engulfments and 19 fatalities occurred. By 2012, those numbers droppped to 19 engulfments and eight fatalities.
The numbers have decreased in recent years, Lovell said, because “education is the key to the whole operation.”
“This is a farming community,” Danely said. “If you talk to most farmers, you’ll find out they did the same thing (climbed into grain bins) and probably didn’t realize they were putting their life in danger.”
The main reason Bonnell bought the device was because most fire departments in the area are volunteer-based and might not be able to afford the device, Peppers said. The 3-foot-wide, 5-foot-tall rescue device cost about $1,200, he said.
“If we can buy it and make it available to them, we hope it will help make it safer,” Peppers said.
Peppers hopes to host more training sessions. The biggest thing to note, for him, is that if it’s needed he’ll “let trained professionals use it.”
“It’s very easy to try to do the right thing and cause more damage,” Peppers said. “Grain entrapment is such a specialized type of rescue. It’s not hard to understand, but it requires training.”