The Jacksonville Fire Departments’ goal of reaching the level of full technical rescue status is getting an assist from a local agriculture-related business.
Farm Credit of Illinois has donated funding to the Jacksonville Fire Department for the purchase of a grain rescue tube. The grain tube allows for rescue personnel to extract someone who has been trapped in grain which is a common danger on a farm.
Michael Lonergan with Farm Credit Illinois on South Main Street says each branch office tries to use some of its budget dollars to help give back to the communities they serve including scholarships for students perusing agriculture degrees, FFA, and 4-H Club projects as well as farm safety week.
Lonergan says supporting the fire department’s tech rescue goal is just another way they can give back to the ag community that is their livelihood. “As I understand it the only group that has one of those tubes is South Jacksonville. I just thought its farming related, it’s a safety thing.
As I understand it, this one is multi-functional so if someone is up against a wall they can do a half-moon if it’s out in the middle they can make a circle, and it’s a lighter weight and easier to use model. We’re just glad to be a part of it and that’s one small way that we can give back to the community.”
Captain Matt Summers with the Jacksonville Fire Department says with both Jacksonville and South Jacksonville being the only departments in the greater area to have grain tubes will help keep the surrounding ag community safer.
Captain Summers says the department is thankful for the donation as it takes the Jacksonville Fire Department another step closer to the tech rescue status they have been working hard to accomplish.
“We have a tech team that we have been building for the last three or four years. The majority of our guys are rope rescue certified, we’ve got guys going through or who are already certified in trench rescue and building collapse rescue, structural collapse, and confined space. Which includes everything from kind of like hazmat situations, low air, low oxygen, and things like that to be aware of. There’s just a lot of different technical specialties guys have to add to their repertoire over and above firefighting and EMS capabilities and knowledge.”
Lonergan says the local Farm Credit Illinois branch office is more than happy to help support farm safety on the local level especially due to how dangerous farming and grain bins, in particular, can be.
“There are so many ways to get hurt in a farm situation with the machinery and things like that. If you can make one little bit of it safer by having the equipment to rescue somebody- you’re always leveling them off, getting them ready to unload, there’s always multiple ways to get hurt.
Sometimes you get in there and don’t realize how quick a problem can occur. If that corn gets much above your knees you’re probably not going to be able to get out of it very easily without some help. It doesn’t seem like it would be that easy to be in trouble but it is. And you know there’s augers and all kinds of other things that are dangerous out there. Our mission statement is helping farm families succeed, so whatever we can do to help that and we think this fits into that situation.”
Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills says his department is on pace to reach full technical rescue status sometime next year. He says the Jacksonville Fire Department is very appreciative of the support in this effort from the community like the folks at the Farm Credit branch office.