By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
It’s a piece of equipment they hope the Lamar Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD) never has to use.
However, officers with Farm Credit Services of America (FmCSA) area offices believe the grain rescue equipment donated to the Lamar firefighters last week is important to have available in the ag-centered communities they serve.
Mitch Korf, marketplace vice president of the offices in Imperial, McCook and North Platte, said Farm Credit Services of America wants to be more involved in their communities.
They felt donation of this equipment, accessories and fire department training valued at $3,000, was a way to do that.
Four LVFD members, three from the Imperial FmCSA office and a company rep from Outstate Data LLC in Elbow Lake, Minn., which makes the equipment, were in Lamar Sept. 30 for the presentation and training.
The equipment is valuable in saving lives if a person becomes trapped in a grain bin. The equipment is assembled around the person, alleviating the pressure. Once the corn is evacuated from inside, the individual can be rescued.
An actual grain rescue simulation was set up for the Sept. 30 training, using FmCSA financial officer Josh Fries as the victim.
Korf said the equipment comes in a 10-piece component kit that will be kept with the fire department for use wherever they may be called for a grain rescue.
In addition to Fries, financial officer Doug Beck and insurance specialist Tom Rau, also from the Imperial FmCSA office, were in Lamar for the presentation and training.
On hand from the fire department were Fire Chief Brian Prosser, Dave Hogsett, Chance Skomp and Tyler Stanley.
Korf said the offices in Imperial, North Platte and McCook serve clients in a 17-county area.
In addition to the presentation to the Lamar department, the area FmCSA offices also presented the same grain rescue equipment and training to fire departments in Maywood and Hershey.
Korf said it is their hope to make additional grain rescue equipment donations to other departments next year.