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Nominate your local fire department to win grain rescue equipment

Safety contest and educational campaign raises awareness of grain entrapments

For rural Americans, seeing grain bins dot the landscape is often an everyday occurrence. However, these storage structures pose very serious hazards to agriculture workers if proper health and safety procedures aren’t followed.

Did you know?

  • In just 20 seconds, a farmer can sink in the quicksand-like flow of grain and become fully entrapped unable to free themselves without help.
  • More than 150 grain entrapments have been recorded in the past five years and resulted in 81 deaths. It’s estimated an additional 30% of cases go unreported.
  • In 2020, there were 35 grain entrapment cases resulting in 20 fatalities.

Sources: 2020 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities and United Press International

To help bring attention to the dangers and prevent these tragic accidents, Nationwide has opened its ninth annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in recognition of Grain Bin Safety Week. The annual advocacy campaign supplies life-saving rescue equipment and training to rural fire departments, who are often the first and only line of defense when an entrapment occurs.

Nominations for this year’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30. 
Since initiating its Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign in 2014, Nationwide and its partners have supplied grain rescue tubes and training to 207 fire departments in 31 states. At least five successful rescues have taken place using the resources provided through the program, including a recent July 2021 rescue in northwest Kansas.

 “These accidents send shockwaves through rural communities each year, and the reality is, they are often preventable,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “We are proud to continue to grow Grain Bin Safety Week and bring on new partners in our mission to end this industry issue.”

This year, Grain Bin Safety Week runs from Feb. 20 – 26 and has been officially recognized by the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Watch this video to learn more about why Nationwide is proud to support Grain Bin Safety Week.

To learn more or nominate your local fire department, click here.