As a first responder to a grain bin engulfment in 2007, Mike Morris decided at that point that citizens who live and operate on 500 or more acres deserved as much care and trained protection as those who live and operate a quarter of an acre. It just required different and additional training.
On that day Dick Henderson was doing what any farmer does when there is a problem – jump in and work to fix it. We all know getting in a grain bin of flowing grain is dangerous but sometimes in the heat of a problem we aren't the most careful. We are problem solvers.
That day the Henderson family, our farming community and the agriculture industry suffered a great loss. But out of tragedy, Morris, a Bargersville Community Fire Department member, decided it was time for first responders to learn more about farm emergencies.
Ongoing training for the past few years has improved central Indiana community fire department members' knowledge about farm emergencies. But the Bargersville Community Fire Department is kicking it in to full gear. On Oct. 23 the fire department, in conjunction with the Johnson County Community Foundation and Friends of Johnson County Agriculture, held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new Grain Bin Rescue Training Facility.
"I hope this equipment sits here for five years and my guys look at me and say we never use it," Morris said during the ceremony. "But we have it if we ever do need it, and you all know how to use it."
The training bin was constructed by GSI. It's small, with a funnel bottom, and it's equipped with a small auger. This bin wasn't built to simulate an engulfment, but to train for rescue once an engulfment has happened. Along with the bin, the fire department acquired a Liberty Grain Rescue Tube.
Once the finishing touches have been completed, the department will be advising other departments on a training schedule and opportunities at the site.
"As sad as my Dad's death was, a bright spot has emerged," Brent Henderson, Dick's son, said. "Being appointed to The Bargersville Community Fire Protection District Board and seeing the department take on a leadership role in training our area in grain bin rescues and farm emergencies is a great way to pay respect to my Dad."
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.