Grain C.A.R.T. Program Goal:
The overarching goal was to develop a comprehensive agricultural rescue program. The program consists of Ohio Fire Academy curriculum, and professional training for first responders, as well as OSU Ag Safety Grain Handling Awareness curriculum for outreach education and awareness for farmers and agricultural industries.
A training need was identified for first responders who are called to an agricultural scene where grain is stored. Grain bin rescues can be classified as confined space rescues, requiring technical training in various capacities. Rescue personnel have requested specific training in these unconventional rescue situations, where they have limited experience and limited knowledge of the agricultural conditions that exist.
This program maximizes the public-private partnerships between Ohio State University (OSU) Extension, the Ohio Fire Academy, and agribusinesses to address Ohio’s agricultural rescue training and education opportunities. The purpose of this project was to build a state-of-the-art mobile grain bin rescue training unit for direct delivery training and outreach education.
OSU Extension and the Ohio Fire Academy have a history of agricultural rescue education collaboration that began in the late 1980’s. Examples include the training modules for on-site use at the Fire Academy, agricultural rescue demonstrations at Farm Science Review, presentations at OSU Extension field day events, and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Safety Congress. The program has been requested by communities, hospitals, and fire departments for on-site delivery at events such as county fairs, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation regional training events, and regional continuing education events for first responders.
Every 10 years, 235 farmers lose their life in an agricultural-related incident. Grain bin fatalities are steadily increasing each year. Such fatalities occur for a variety of reasons with the two most common being suffocation by engulfment and entanglement with moving parts.
The significance of agricultural rescue training and education opportunities in Ohio is based on professional firefighter capacities relative to the agricultural land use area they serve. According to the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association, 80% of the fire departments in Ohio rely on Volunteer firefighters.
The majority, approximately 91%, of Ohio’s land use is agricultural. It is comprised of cropland, forest, and pasture. Ohio has 74,900 farms, totaling 3,800,000 acres; the average farm size is 184 acres (http://www.development.ohio.gov/research/documents/Ohio.pdf).
• Create various levels of rescue exercises, that simulate real life rescue situations first responders may encounter in rural emergencies.
• Increase the capacity within rural rescue teams by optimizing the first responders’ knowledge and skill when responding to rural emergencies.
• Create an awareness for hazards on farms and reinforce best management practices while working in and around grain storage bins.
As founding sponsors, we are especially appreciative of the contributions made by the following companies. These companies believed in the concept, and stepped up to assist the student team to design and build the trailer. The state of Ohio is truly provileged to have this type of training unit available. Agricultural communities continue to benefit from their contributions. A sincere thank you is extended to these companies for their gift to The Ohio State University, and ultimately to rescue personnel and farm families across the state. In alphabetical order: