MORRISON, Ill — The Whiteside County Fair offers plenty of fun for the entire family to enjoy. At the same time, the Morrison fire department teamed up with Stateline Farm Rescue, a company based in Orangeville, Illinois, to demonstrate what can happen if a person finds themselves stuck inside of a corn grain bin.
“Well, agricultural rescue and the fire service is something is not very common as far as the training of it is we’re kind of a unique group,” Mark Barker of Stateline Farm Rescue said. “Fire departments are very well seasoned in training in car accidents and such but when it comes to agricultural rescue they don’t have an opportunity. I mean where do you find a tractor that you can roll over or an opportunity to be stuck in a grain bin we bring this to their firehouse and we bring it to them and it’s real.”
As the volunteer quickly sank into the corn grain, the rescue started immediately. Firefighters used red metal plates to surround her and started digging her out of the grain with her helmet. Morrison’s fire chief said this re-enactment is very valuable to his team because it prepares them for a real life rescue.
“It’s important to us because we live in the grain belt area,” Joe Bielema said. “A lot of grain in this area we got multiple grain elevators businesses as well as farmers that have a lot of grain bins the hazard is always there. “
Finally the volunteer was able to grab onto the metal pole and start to lift herself up. Firefighters extended their hands and handed her a rope so she could have something to hold onto shortly after she was rescued. Chief Bielema says the key to a successful rescue is the victim not panicking
“Remain calm. Remain calm. If somebody can get some kind of a rope or a garden hose or something you can hang onto don’t move stay still. the more you move the deeper you go,” Bielema said.
Though this was a demonstration, the fire chief says he hopes on lookers learned from today’s event. He says the number one thing for anyone is never go into a grain bin alone.