County helps fund grain prevention simulator

  • Mar. 23, 2016 2:18 p.m.

Red Deer County is partnering with the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association to help sponsor the build of trailers that will be used for demonstration purposes and training first responders in how to deal with people trapped in grain.

“It’s about public education – the trailers will be at farm expeditions and safety days, but it’s also about training our first responders in rescue procedures regarding grain entrapment,” said Ric Henderson, assistant manager with Red Deer County. “This would be a brand new thing that we could train our first responders in.”

The hope is that three demonstration trailers will be built. On Tuesday, Red Deer County council approved sponsorship in the amount of $30,000 over the next three years to help build the trailers. Each trailer costs about $100,000 to build and the projected operating cost is $75,000 annually, Henderson said.

“By contributing that amount we’ll get our name on the equipment and logo on their web site and on their media releases as a contributor,” he added. “Hopefully we’ll get better access to the trailers as well.”

In 2015, seven people died in Canada after they were trapped in grain. Three of those deaths were young sisters who lived near Withrow, Alberta. They tragically died last October.

“This is something unique. I have known for many years the dangers of grain entrapment but there isn’t any really good training or public education to deal with that,” said Henderson. “I’m not an expert and I hope to learn by this project, but grain traps you (if you fall into it) – you can’t stand on it and you have nothing to leverage yourself to get out of it.”

Henderson added the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association is hoping to have the trailers built by the end of the year.

“We like to be proactive and help look after not only our residents and get the information out to our ag community, but also to protect our rescuers.”