Ohio State Grain Rescue Simulator to be Demonstrated at the Ohio State Fair Aug. 2


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio's first Grain Rescue Simulator trailer, which was designed by students from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and is used to train first responders, grain industry employees and farm families about the hazards of flowing grain, will be demonstrated during the Ohio State Fair Aug. 2.

The Ohio Grain Comprehensive Agriculture Rescue Trailer, or C.A.R.T., will be featured at the Fair with demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture tent at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., organizers said.

The grain rescue simulator was created to meet training needs identified by first responders who are called to an agricultural scene where grain is stored, said Dee Jepsen, state safety leader for Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

The trailer was dedicated to the state of Ohio to be used by the Ohio Fire Academy and OSU Extension to increase the training capacity in the area of agricultural rescue, she said. 

Jepsen and other staff members will be on hand at the fair to demonstrate how the Grain C.A.R.T. works and will discuss the dangers of flowing grain as well as OSU Extension’s partnership with the Ohio Fire Academy.

The Grain C.A.R.T. was designed in partnership with the Ohio Fire Academy and made possible through contributions from a number of agribusinesses. Mounted on a 40-foot flatbed trailer, it includes a grain bin, grain leg, gravity wagon and other training essentials.

It’s now being used with the Ohio Fire Academy’s agricultural rescue direct delivery training modules and with OSU Extension’s grain bin rescue outreach education and awareness program, Jepsen said.

“The project shows a combined dedication of Ohio State students and faculty working cooperatively with grain industry partners to provide training solutions for Ohio fire departments and emergency medical technicians,” she said. “It was designed to train firemen to do technical rescue in grain-handling systems.”  

Grain bin rescues can be classified as confined-space rescues, requiring technical training in various capacities. Rescue personnel have requested specific training in these unconventional rescue situations, where they have limited experience and limited knowledge of the agricultural conditions that exist, she said. 

The need for such training is significant, considering the potential risks when working with grain on the farm. In fact, of the 1.7 million full-time workers that were employed in production agriculture in the U.S. in 2009, 440 farmworkers died from a work-related injury for a fatality rate of 24.7 deaths per 100,000 workers, according to most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Farm-related fatalities from grain engulfment are steadily increasing each year, Jepsen said. 

“Such fatalities occur for a variety of reasons with the two most common being suffocation by engulfment and entanglement with moving parts,” she said. “The mobile training unit will allow demonstrations that are designed to help bridge the knowledge gap between emergency personnel and farming incidents they may encounter.”

There is a continual need for rural medics and fire departments to understand the complexity of an agricultural incident, Jepsen said.

“They are dealing with equipment and environmental conditions they normally wouldn’t see in a rescue situation,” she said. “Knowing how to shut off the equipment or isolate an entrapped victim is important to preventing further injury or even death."

The Grain C.A.R.T. was designed by students in CFAES’ Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering enrolled in a senior capstone project. 

Beyond designing the specialized trailer, they worked with sponsors who contributed more than 50 percent of the $95,000 project. 


Tracy Turner
For more information, contact: 

Dee Jepsen