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Goldfield, EG fire departments receive rescue tubes

Goldfield Fire Chief Jeff Slaikeu inside the department's new grain bin rescue .

The Goldfield and Eagle Grove Fire Departments recently received grain rescue tubes through the Gold-Eagle Cooperative. Gold-Eagle donated the tubes to fire departments in towns where they have an office.

                The tubes are designed to help rescue people who have been trapped in grain bins. The tubes are metal cylinders, broken into different interlocking panels. When a person is trapped in a grain bin, rescue personnel can build the tube around them to separate them from the bulk of the grain.

                “After you get it built around them, you give them a bucket so they can start digging the corn out. Or you can use an auger to get some of the corn out,” said Goldfield Fire Chief Jeff Slaikeu. “Once you get it up so far, there are handholds that you can actually start pulling yourself up with. “ 

                Grain bin accidents have been a serious problem for rural communities for years. The forces involved are staggering.

                “At any of the elevators anymore, they have to be tethered or on a harness. But that doesn’t stop them from getting sucked in,” Slaikeu said. “I don’t know the exact figures, but if you go in (chest deep) they will pull your arms out of your sockets if they pull you out of there.”

Read the full article in the Sept. 19 Wright County Monitor.