Farmers and first responders in Acacia Parish are learning how to prevent deaths when people fall into grain bins.
Two years ago, a man died after falling into a rice bin in Crowley. It’s one of the leading causes of farm-related deaths.
The Mississippi Farm Bureau is traveling the Southeast with a grain bin simulator, hoping to train fire fighters and farmers on what to do if someone becomes entrapped.
“I had a close friend about 40 years ago that got stuck in a grain bin and almost lost his life,” said Gerard Frey, an Iota farmer and Acadia Parish Farm Bureau board member.
He says this training is necessary for everyone in his field.
In 2016, there were 29 reported cases of entrapment in grain bins across the country. 18 of those were fatal.
“On occasions during rice season, we have 70% of this parish that is rice farmers and they have a lot of crop coming into the bin and going out. So we have a lot of mechanical issues moving around in these bins and we’re here to take advantage of this bin rescue,” said Rayne Fire Chief, Allen Credur.
According to the Farm Bureau, if someone were to fall in, immediately stop the flow of grain, try to aerate the bin and call for help.
“We use a rescue tube and we’ll build an area around them where no other grain can get around, and then once the rescue tube is built around them, we’ll start getting the grain out from inside the tube to hopefully free them up enough so they can move around and help pull themselves out,” said the safety specialist for the Mississippi Farm Bureau, Benton Mosley.
“Just farming in general is one of the number one [most dangerous fields] in the nation and grain bins are at the top of the list. And we’ve had so many close calls, we’ve had neighbors and friends who have had serious accidents in grain bins and we’re hoping if we save one life, it’s worth it,” said Frey.