Local firefighters conduct grain bin rescue training


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — Thanks to a generous grant of $26,500 from Valero Renewables in Bloomingburg, the Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department was able to purchase a trailer and grain bin rescue equipment.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal Fire Academy conducted a grain bin rescue exercise for the Wayne Township department, as well as one Jefferson Township Fire member and two Washington Fire Department members, on Saturday morning.

The training helps their crews continue to give better service to the community, according to Chief Chris Wysong of Wayne Township Fire. The training was held at the Doug Miller Farm on White Road. Fayette County Box 65 was also in attendance and lunch was provided by Donatos Pizza.

The crew suits up in harness gear, climbs into the grain bin, finds the victim, checks the air quality, places footplates on top of the grain to prevent rescuers from sinking into the grain, and prepares to rescue the person. The victim is first harnessed so he won’t sink any further, and steel rescue plates are placed around him.

The grain must be pumped out from around the person and the steel plates are pushed further down into the grain as the level lowers until the person can use the plates to pull up or be pulled up to safety.

There was a classroom instructional program prior to the hands-on exercise. Those in attendance were divided into two groups. The instructors, Mike Raymond and Mike Isgett from the training academy, conducted the training. The two volunteer victims were Ethan Westendorf and Lt. John Downing of Wayne Township.

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