The Wadena and District Fire Department was awarded grain rescue training and equipment by Corteva Agriscience Canada and the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association on June 15. 

Last fall, the Wadena and District Fire Department participated in BeGrainsafe (CASA’s grain safety program).

“Harm prevention through awareness has always been a top priority for CASA, and this is never more than true with grain entrapment. However, it's’ also important that fire departments are well trained and prepared with the proper equipment in the case of an incident,” says Robert Gobeil, CASA’s Agricultural Health and Safety Specialist. “Thanks to Corteva Agriscience, this life saving equipment will be in the hands of those who need it.”

The BeGrainsafe training consists of one day of theory and one day of practical training and evaluation, with Firefighters learning how to extract a person trapped in grain using a cofferdam and auger. 

The fire department uses GSI RES-Q-TUBE and a Haul- ALL pencil auger,  which are essential in rescuing a grain entrapment victim. When used, the grain rescue tube creates a barrier between the victim and the grain while the auger helps rescuers quickly move the grain away from the victim. 

“[Grain] is like quicksand, if you try to move, you get sucked down. What this is designed to do, is to be put around the body, and then there is a cordless drill that drills and moves the grain from the inside,” explained the Deputy for the Wadena Fire Department, Brian Weber. 

The training was completed alongside the Quill Lake fire department, explained Weber, for the safety of those working with grain. He explained why rescue training is so crucial to the fire department. 

“Because we have two major elevators in our town, Viterra and Richardson, for their employees, and for the farmers around that now have large grain handling facilities on the farms.”

Weber is thankful for the training but hopes it doesn’t have to be used any time soon. 

“It’s just another tool in our kit. We have it, but we hope we never, ever have to use it. It's better to have something and not use it than be sitting there wishing you had it.”

“We’re pleased that our support and partnership with CASA is making Wadena safer,” says Kris Allen, communications Leader at Corteva Agriscience Canada. “Unexpected grain incidents can happen at any moment, so it's important that local fire departments have access to training and life-saving grain safety training and rescue equipment.”