He wants it accessible regionally
Like all occupations, farming has its risks. Grain engulfment inside a storage bin is one of those risks.
Though grain bin deaths are not a common occurrence in the region, they do happen. And, more often than most think.
In the past 50 years, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported with a fatality rate of 62 percent, according to researchers at Purdue University in Indiana.
Johnson County is home to more than 500 grain storage structures scattered across its borders, with new ones being installed annually, according to the county assessor’s office.
Knowing the risks involved with grain bins, Johnson County farmer Roger Green of Cypress purchased a grain bin rescue tube that he has made available 24/7 to local emergency responders.
Green turned over the recue tube to Johnson County EMS departments Thursday morning, March 26.
The unit is constructed in four snap-together sections of lightweight aluminum and aids in rescue efforts during a grain engulfment. When fully assembled, it creates a 30” diameter, 60” tall casing around the victim to reduce pressure on the trapped person while responders work to free them.
Once the equipment is in place, rescuers can remove the grain located inside it and extricate the victim.
The table below shows the amount of time (in seconds on the left) it takes for a 165-pound person to be engulfed in grain with a typical 10” unload auger in operation, and the amount of pressure placed on that individual at each stage of the engulfment.
“I hope it is never needed, but want it to be available if and when it is needed,” Green said. “I also hope that it is made available to surrounding counties.”
Green does not know of any southernmost county that has a rescue tube available. Sikeston, Mo. is the closest one that he knows of.
The unit, that has a retail price of over $3200, will be stored at the Johnson County Ambulance Service base.
Proper hands-on training is required for safe use of this piece of equipment.
Johnson County ESDA director Jim Haney is already coordinating training efforts for ambulance, fire and first responder personnel.