CALHOUN COUNTY, S.C. — The Caw Caw Fire Department in Calhoun County is offering a grain bin rescue demonstration and training class on October 30, 2021.
Calhoun County farmer Nick Stabler says the harvest season can be dangerous for farmers like him when they are getting ready to move corn off to the market.
"We have a lot of grain bins in our area because we are an agriculture area," said Stabler. "We're concerned for people getting stuck in these grain bins, which can lead to them suffocating to death. If there's anything in the grain bin, we have to constantly check it to make sure moisture and the air are changed to save the grain."
RELATED: The dangers of silos
Stabler says that concern is why he called the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety to help teach farmers and rescue workers how to rescue someone if an incident does occur.
"They're going to put a person in a grain bin, and then we are going to use rescue tubes and ropes to perform a rescue," said Stabler.
Firefighters with the Caw Caw Fire Department and farmers in the area will participate in the training.
The Caw Caw fire chief and farmer says grain bin-related incidents occur when farmers are prepping the bins for harvest.
"The grain gets drier, and we have to keep turning the air in it, so we don't have a problem of the corn spoiling," Stabler explained. "When they pump the grain out of the bin, it forms a funnel towards the middle. That person can sink. Once you start sinking in the grain bin, the worse it's going to be on you."
An Orangeburg man was trapped inside a silo for eight hours at Cactus Farms in 2019. Another South Carolina man died in one that same year. Although National Grain Bin Safety Week falls on the last week of February, Stabler hopes this training will cut down on these incidents.
"This is just the beginning of it," said Stabler. "We will have further training for the station for us to get better with it."