The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association’s (CASA) BeGrainSafe mobile training unit stopped in Melville for several days this week. Firefighters from a number of east-central Saskatchewan departments attended to receive training for grain entrapment rescues.
The trailer is used across the Prairie provinces to train municipal fire departments and industrial emergency response units on the specialized rescue techniques required to help someone entrapped in grain on the farm or in grain handling facilities. Firefighters must follow specific procedures to increase their chances of a successful rescue, while keeping members of their department safe.
The BeGrainSafe trailer features a built-in silo filled with grain, with a demonstration platform above. A small crane-like device lowers a mannequin or volunteer into the silo. Once entrapped, at least two properly trained rescue demonstrators surround the “victim” with a steel rescue tube to stabilize the grain. Then a small auger is used to safely extract the grain from around the “victim” until they can be freed.
There are also interactive displays and activities, including a lung display that demonstrates how difficult it is to breathe in grain, a flowing grain display that shows how quickly someone can become engulfed in grain, and a leg display that illustrates the force of grain on the body.
On Friday, CASA teamed up with Parkland College and the City of Melville to host demonstrations at the Merv Moore Sportsplex. The event was designed to raise awareness of strategies to prevent grain entrapment.
CASA says BeGrainSafe is a program designed to help save lives. In addition to firefighter training, farmers and grain handling personnel learn about grain safety best practices and develop an emergency response plan for on-site grain storage in the event of an entrapment/engulfment. The ultimate goal is to have successful rescues rather than recoveries.
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