The Training That Goes Behind Grain Silo Rescues


CALHOUN COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Calhoun County first responders saved a man’s life, late Monday afternoon, after an hour and a half rescue mission.

A Morgan Farms worker in Vardaman accidentally fell inside a bin, while trying to unclog the grain.

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It’s a scenario rescuers prepare for every year.

It was a matter of timely training.

Firefighters were able to use new skills and new equipment to free the man.

The Calhoun County Fire Coordinator calls the successful rescue mission a county-wide effort.

“Every time I talked to him, he’d give me the thumbs up and he said, ‘I’m okay,’ and I said, ‘Well, just hang in there. It may be a while before they get there, but they’re going to get you out of there,'” says farmer and owner of the grain bin, Tony Morgan.

An hour and a half later, rescuers made good on that promise.

“We were worried about him to start with. Once we got in there with with him, and got to talking to him, he was doing good, breathing fine, and from there, I mean, it was just doing what we’d been trained to do,” says Bruce Fire Department Fire Chief Charlie Hill.

It’s the first time for the county to put their bin rescue training to use in a real life scenario.

“We as a county trained on this. Farm Bureau provided training last year and the county participated in that. They set up little mini grain bins and we actually trapped people in these and got them out,” says Calhoun County Fire Coordinator Chris Williams.

It’s also the first time the county has used their very own grain bin rescue equipment.

Farm Bureau donated money to the county to buy the equipment and Williams says he really never thought they’d have to put it to use.

“It’s very rare. We’ve been just training not only here in the county, but we’ve been to other counties for training as well.”

Once responders got here to the scene and stabilized the area, the training went into full swing.

“We take this tube and start putting it together around the person, and once we got it put together, we pushed it down into the grain as far as we can. We have an auger that starts auguring the grain from inside the tube and that keeps the grain from collapsing back on him.”

Tony Morgan says his employee was trapped chest deep in 30,000 thousand bushels of corn,  but he was back at work a day later and both men are very thankful.

Williams says firefighters learned some new tips in Monday’s rescue to help with their training.