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0708H2-3956A Photo courtesy of Delaware Farm Bureau
RESCUE TUBE: John Tomeski, a firefighter with the department in Bridgeville, Del., was first to volunteer to get trapped in a grain bin simulator during a grain bin rescue tube training in Bridgeville in August 2017.

Fundraisers net grain bin rescue tube for Delaware fire company

The money was raised as part of Nationwide’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest.

Harrington Volunteer Fire Company in Delaware will soon get life-saving grain bin rescue equipment and training on how to use it.

This year, Nationwide opened its Nominate Your Fire Department Contest to those who could raise $5,000 to secure a grain bin rescue tube, a portable cordless drill-powered grain auger and training.

Through the first five years of the contest, rescue tubes have been presented to 77 fire departments across 24 states. Deploying a grain rescue tube is the only way to safely remove someone trapped in grain, according to Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness. Rescuers should never try to use mechanical devices such as a harness to remove a victim from grain.

“Until we can convince all farmers and other grain handlers to develop a zero-entry mentality, we will continue to make tubes available,” Liggett says.

Margaret Chase, Nationwide sponsor relations account executive, spread the word to Nationwide agents and mentioned it to Richard Wilkins, president of Delaware Farm Bureau.

Chase and Joseph Poppiti, executive director of Delaware Farm Bureau, contacted Billy Staples, a Nationwide agent with offices in Salisbury and Harrington, to see if he would be willing to put up half the funding necessary. He was happy to do so.

Wilkins and Kitty Holtz, past president of Delaware Farm Bureau, were instrumental in securing the rest of the funding from Schiff Farms Inc. in Harrington. Schiff Farms, which began as a poultry farm in 1945, encompasses 270,000 acres across five states. The corporate office is in Harrington, as is a 2.6 million-bushel grain elevator and a 6,000-head beef cattle confinement feedlot.

Dan Neenan, director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, conducted the training this week at the fire department in Harrington. Neenan travels with a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator and rescue tube to conduct the training session. Loaded on a 20-foot trailer and able to hold 100 bushels of grain, the simulator is a great training piece. Neenan conducted training for Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Company in 2017.

Poppiti says that, “Next year we would like to raise the money to place a rescue bin in northern Kent County or southern New Castle County.”

Anyone interested in helping with the project can call Poppiti at the Delaware Farm Bureau office at 302-697-3183.

Source: Delaware Farm Bureau, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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