Regional Firefighters Participate In Grain Safety Training

Trochu Fire Bin Demostration

In a collaborative effort to bolster safety and security within its agricultural sectors, Kneehill County’s regional firefighters participated in a Grain Safety Training Session, focusing on grain entrapment and safe grain handling practices.

This initiative saw 35 firefighters from within Kneehill County (Trochu, Carbon, Linden, Acme, Three Hills, and Torrington) and neighbouring areas, including Alix, Innisfail, and Clearwater County, engage in intensive training designed to bring awareness to grain-related emergencies.

“While the training equips our firefighters with invaluable skills, we also want to stress the importance of preventative measures in grain safety,” said Dan Marsellus, Rural Fire Chief. “The most effective way to ensure safety is to avoid accidents in the first place. To this end, we urge our farming community to adhere to best practices in grain handling.”

Every year, several Canadian farm workers suffocate in grain bins. When farmers work with grain - loading it, unloading it, and moving it from bin to bin – they need to know about the hazards of flowing grain and how to prevent injury:

• Preparation is Key: Never enter a grain bin without a comprehensive plan. Educating children on the dangers is crucial, ensuring they understand that grain bins are strictly off-limits.

• Safety in Numbers: If entering a grain bin is necessary, ensure the presence of at least two individuals outside are ready and capable of providing emergency assistance.

• Be Aware of Hazards: Bins containing wet, mouldy, or spoiled grain may pose significant air quality hazards, including toxic gases and reduced oxygen levels. In such environments, it’s imperative to use blowers and wear suitable respiratory protection.

• Control Equipment: Securely lock out the power source to the grain bin’s auger to prevent any accidental operation while inside.

• Climb Safely: When inside a bin, if dislodging grain from above, ensure you’re on a permanent ladder and above the compacted or bridged grain level. A full-body harness with a lanyard secured above your head is essential for safety. A safety harness attached to a secure point outside the bin is necessary for bins without a permanent ladder.

• Learn about grain safety on the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association website, www.casa-acsa.ca.

Kneehill County’s continued investment in first responder training reflects Council’s commitment to health, safety, and preparedness for our residents and the region.