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Camden-Wyoming Fire Company awarded life-saving grain rescue tube

The Camden-Wyoming Fire Company is the latest Delaware fire company to obtain a grain rescue tube.

The Delaware Farm Bureau joined Nationwide Insurance to send the grain rescue tube to Camden-Wyoming and provide training on how to use it.  

Camden-Wyoming is one of 48 fire companies across the country to receive one this year through a program that aims to prevent grain entrapment deaths.

“Grain rescue tubes have been around for quite awhile in different forms and some of those were just pieces of plywood," said Paul Stevenson, a senior risk management consultant for Nationwide AgriBusiness. "The rescue tube that we have is a six-panel design that can actually make a circle, it can make a wall and it can make a half-circle, depending on what the rescue needs are for the grain structure.”

Camden-Wyoming deputy fire chief Jeff Brown says they were ecstatic to learn they were chosen to receive the device this year.

When we filled out the paperwork, we really didn’t think we had a shot - due to the fact that we only have one grain storage facility in our district and there were four other companies in Kent County that have already received the grain rescue equipment," said Brown. "So when we entered this, we actually thought it was a longshot that we were actually going to get it and we’re actually ecstatic that we can get our guys in surrounding companies involved in the training.”


There is only one grain storage facility in the Camden-Wyoming area, but Brown says it’s good to have the device anyway.


“It’s not something common that we go to all the time. In the next five years you might only have one, or you might not have any," said Brown. "But it’s nice to have all the guys trained up.”    


Brown expects his 50 volunteer firefighters to get training from the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) this fall.

Fire companies in Bridgeville, Carlisle, Harrington and Odessa also have grain rescue tubes.

According to researchers at Perdue University, more than 900 cases of grain entrapment have been reported in the past 50 years with a fatality rate of 62%. In 2020 alone, grain entrapments led to 20 deaths.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.