When a grain bin entrapment occurs, seconds matter.

The quicker first responders can arrive at the scene, the better. Grain bin rescues often require special equipment, and special training.

Do you know where the grain bin rescue kits in your county are located? Do you know who is trained to use them? I don’t.

I could use your help identifying where the rescue kits are located and what fire companies have the training to use them.

Who am I?

I have been subcontracted to serve as the planning specialist with the South Central Task Force’s Agriculture Subcommittee. The Department of Homeland Security has broken Pennsylvania down into task force regions. The South Central Task Force covers Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties.

This subcommittee is constantly on a quest to build bridges between key agricultural stakeholders, first responders and law enforcement to prepare for crisis response, and react or support in emergencies involving food production, food systems, and human or animal health that exceed the capabilities of local responders or agencies.

One current subcommittee objective is to ensure that at least one grain bin rescue kit is located in each of the eight counties in the south-central region, and to be sure that training is provided for first responders who will be dispatched when a grain bin rescue kit is needed.

Yes, I do know where some of the rescue kits are located, but not all of them. I’m asking readers to help the SCTF Ag Subcommittee improve our database of where they are located. I’d like to know where the rescue kits are located on private farms, at private businesses, and at fire departments in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties.

For example, I’m aware that all Purdue Agribusiness locations have a rescue kit, have trained staff, and are willing to deploy with their equipment whenever they are needed. I am aware that some fire departments in the eight county region also house them. But, I would really like to be sure that we know about all of the rescue kits.

The subcommittee is also working to procure grain bin rescue kits. We currently have two scheduled to be housed in Adams and Franklin counties this fall. As you work with the SCTF Ag Subcommittee to identify the location of as many rescue kits as possible, we will continue to procure more rescue kits, and offer to place them in strategic locations in the counties, where the majority of the agricultural properties are located.

The SCTF Ag Subcommittee is also providing training through Penn State University for how to use the rescue kits, once more are purchased.

Shelly Dehoff can be reached at shellydehoff@lancasterconservation.org or 717-880-0848.