Firefighters find themselves on the frontlines of rescue in all sorts of different calamities. Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) is providing grain rescue training for rural firefighters. Miniota held a training event last Saturday for fire departments within the West Central Mutual Aid District.
Grain entrapment can happen within seconds and in 20 years has been associated with some 30 deaths, while in 2015 alone, six fatalities and at least two rescue incidents were reported in the media, according to the CASA.
It can begin very simply. “You can become trapped in grain once it reaches your knees,” says Miniota Fire Chief Nick Young.
Seven fire departments had 24 firefighters on the course. They were from Russell/Binscarth, Silver Creek, Rossburn, Ellice/St. Lazare, Birtle, Shoal Lake and Hamiota departments.
Young said they learned that “the pressure increases the deeper a person sinks which can make it hard to breath. Specialty equipment is used to dam up the surrounding grain and then remove the grain inside the dam to relieve the pressure around the person.”
The rescue training is offered by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) and was sponsored by the Manitoba Canola Growers Association and Ag Days along with other local grain companies - Cargill, Richardson Pioneer, Patterson Grain and Viterra.
For the Miniota fire department, Young stated, “We're very grateful for all the sponsorship that helps make this important training possible. Now that we have members trained, we can go ahead and purchase the equipment necessary to carry out these types of rescues. We look forward to being able to provide this type of service in our area.”