Every year, thousands of farmers and commercial grain handlers risk their lives by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As rural communities have come to know all too well, an accident in a grain bin can quickly turn deadly. In just seconds, adults can sink to their waist in flowing grain, rendering them completely trapped without the proper rescue devices. These accidents result in dozens of lost lives each year, and deaths have spiked in 2019 and early 2020 due to the wet harvest.
To lead the fight against these all-too-common accidents, Nationwide, is once again teaming up with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) in Iowa and other partners to hold the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest as part of annual Grain Bin Safety Week, which runs Feb. 21 to 27, 2021.
Now in its eighth year, the contest awards grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training to first responders to help save lives. According to Nationwide officials, four people have been saved thanks to the grain rescue tubes and training provided by the program.
Since its inception in 2014, the contest has attracted more than 5,000 nominations and awarded tubes and training to 152 fire departments across 29 states. To enter the contest, nominators must describe how the fire department or emergency response team and its rural community would benefit from grain rescue training and a rescue tube, as well as how they plan to share the rescue tube and training with nearby fire departments.
Nominations will be accepted from Jan. 1 to April 30, 2021 and can be submitted one of three ways:
• Online: grainbinsafetyweek.com
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Mail: NECAS Grain Bin Safety Ag Contest, 8342 NICC Dr., Peosta, IA 52068
The number of winners will not be determined until the contest closes and will depend on the amount of donations received. See the contest rules at nationwide.com/GBSWContestRules.