Fire fighters with grain rescue tube

When a Westphalia, Kansas, farmer became trapped in a grain bin in 2015, the Westphalia Fire Department deployed a grain rescue tube to save his life just months after getting that tube and specialized rescue training. This event is significant because it marks the first life saved using a tube and training awarded through the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, held in conjunction with Grain Bin Safety Week.

And in January 2024, first responders with Lepanto Fire & Rescue in Lepanto, Arkansas, called on the same equipment and training to save two farm workers trapped in a grain bin.

332 fire departments in 32 states

Westphalia and Lepanto are just two of the 332 fire departments in 32 states that have been recipients of grain rescue tubes and training through the Grain Bin Safety Week program.

“We care deeply about the safety of farmers, farm workers, their families and communities,” said Nationwide Agribusiness President Brad Liggett. “When we started Grain Bin Safety Week in 2014, we were driven to not only raise awareness of the risks and safe work practices of grain handling and storage, but to help enable first responders to save lives. Caring about grain bin safety isn’t enough. It takes action. So, we stepped in to help.”

“There’s no way we could perform the rescue we did without a rescue tube.”

10 lives saved across eight states

Based on various media reports, interviews and research, first responders in eight states have used the specialized equipment and rescue training they received as part of Grain Bin Safety Week to perform 10 life-saving grain rescues. Through this retrospective glance, we recognize those fire departments and the lives saved.

Lepanto Fire & Rescue - Lepanto, Arkansas

Redding Fire & Rescue - Seymour, Indiana

Wilmington Fire Department - Sabina, Ohio

Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department - Dagsboro, Delaware

Goodland Fire Department - Goodland, Kansas

Wauzeka Fire Department - Wauzeka, Wisconsin

Berlin Fire Company - Berlin, Pennsylvania

Glenville Fire Department - Glenville, Minnesota

Westphalia Fire Department - Westphalia, Kansas

A goal of zero lives lost

As Grain Bin Safety Week continues to spread its message and impact communities across the country, we must remember to prioritize safety and be prepared for any emergency. Together, let us work towards a safer future for our farming community and a goal of zero lives lost. As we look ahead, we remain committed to this life-saving mission, pledging to continue empowering farmers and entire communities with the knowledge and resources they need to stay safe.

Make sure your fire department is prepared

Is your local fire department prepared for the next grain bin entrapment? See our list of grain rescue tube recipients to locate a grain rescue tube nearest you. If you don’t see one close by, nominate your fire department January 1 through April 30 to help make sure they’re prepared and ready for the next grain entrapment call.

Grain Bin Safety week is held the third full week each February. Find out more about Grain Bin Safety at

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