The Ottumwa Courier

November 25, 2013

Grain rescue tube may be a lifesaver

Courier correspondent

---- — KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren Jaws of Life is the recipient of a grain rescue tube with auger that may be a lifesaver to a farmer trapped in a grain bin.

Farm Credit Services of America and the Van Buren Foundation, Inc., teamed up to purchase the tube. It will be stored with the Van Buren Jaws of Life, a county-run emergency service based out of the Keosauqua Fire Department building.

According to Rusty Lyons, president of Van Buren Jaws of Life, each section of the tube acts as a shield. When a farmer or grain elevator employee is trapped in a grain bin, a rescue tube inserted around his body can protect him from the crushing weight of the grain. Rescuers can then dig the grain out of the tube or remove it with the auger (which is part of the equipment) and extricate the trapped worker.

“The training we receive says generally that we have up to 20 minutes to save a producer,” said Doug Chapuis.

Mike Dickinson, representing Farm Credit Services of America, said a daughter-in-law of a producer near Richland who died after he was trapped in a grain bin presented a program that encouraged fire departments to purchase a grain rescue tube.

Dickinson contacted Van Buren County and presented the Jaws of Life with a $1,300 donation to purchase the tube. The Van Buren Foundation provided the remaining $3,500.

“Hopefully, we’ll never have to use it,” Lyons said.