NPFD receives new equipment for grain bin rescues

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. It's something we hear often especially living in the Heartland.

"The bins are getting bigger and bigger and moving more product per minute, so you are having more accidents," said Outstate Data training coordinator Craig Berg.

On Wednesday, North Platte Fire and Rescue gathered at Ag Valley Coop for a grain bin rescue training exercise.

"Well this is a very dangerous and complicated rescue because the grain is always moving and you also have a fire danger and a poison danger involved," said North Platte Fire Department Battalion Chief Bill Kleinow.

Berg travels across the country training volunteer fire departments on how to use the ten panel grain bin rescue tool.

Berg's stepfather invented the kit in 2009.

"They need to be methodical and take their time, but yet be efficient because it's deadly in there, so one wrong move, and who knows what can happen to the firefighters as well,' Berg said. "We obviously hope that it is never used, but the product is being used unfortunately."

So far, in the last five years, there have been twelve successful rescues with the kit.

"They are the ones that deserve all of the credit because they are the ones out on the fields and out in the trenches doing the work," Berg said. "I'm just here training them on food for thought and things to look for and our equipment."

The kits are one of 100 that Farm Credit Services of America donates to fire departments every year.

"We are delivering one tomorrow night to the Maxwell Fire Department, Brady, Stapleton, Hershey, Maywood and Wallace will all have one these," said Farm Credit Services of America Financial Officer Betty VanBoening. "So the good thing is, if they are all trained on the same one, hopefully they can help each other if the situation ever arises."

The cost of each kit is about $4,000.