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Grain Rescue Tube Save Time, Lives
"There's no rescue tool like it anywhere," says Bernard Scott of Tontogany, Ohio, whose FFA club has developed a lightweight aluminum grain rescue tube for rescuing persons submerged or partially submerged in grain.
The tube is made from three curved sections of aluminum designed to pass through 22 by 22 in. grain door openings and assembled quickly inside. Bigger than a 55 gal. drum, which is what usually gets used for emergency rescues, the tube weighs just 80 lbs. A comparable size steel barrel would weigh about 250 lbs. and the opening in the grain bin would have to be enlarged to accommodate it, wasting critical time.
Here's how a typical rescue attempt might go:
It takes just seconds to become totally submerged in loose, flowing grain with the unloading auger running. If a victim becomes totally submerged below the surface of the grain, most experts say the best way to get him out is to quickly cut large openings in the side of the bin several feet above ground to let the grain flow out. If the victim is near the surface, however, or partially above it, the tube should be able to rescue them. Because of the tremendous pressure of the grain and panic, the victim may have trouble breathing.
The tube is passed inside to rescuers who should be wearing safety harnesses. It is quickly bolted together using wing nuts held in place by small chains. Then, by digging and pushing, it is sunk down around the victim. Handles all around the outside aid rescuers and handles inside let the victim pull himself up.
The FFA'ers, who spent about $200 for materials and $30 for machine shop labor to bend the metal, have donated the tube to their local rescue department. The club is willing to send plans to local farm groups who might want to build one themselves.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bernard Scott, Vo-Ag Instructor, Otsego High School, Box 168, Tontogany, Ohio 43565 (ph-419 823-5091).

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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #4