PITTSBURG — The Scoular Company donated a life-saving tool to the Baker Township Fire Department following a tour of the Pittsburg facility Tuesday.
Facility Manager Brice Elnicki donated a grain rescue tube to Baker Fire on the behalf of Scoular. The tube works to create a barrier around a person trapped in flowing grain — in a bin or silo — and stops the flow of grain to allow rescue crews to dig the person out.
According to Scoular, a person trapped in flowing grain can become engulfed within 60 seconds, unable to free themselves. While prevention is the best practice, Elnicki said it never hurts to have the equipment on hand.
“We started looking into it, and no one around here has a rescue tube like this,” Elnicki said. “So we bought one. We’ll let Baker take it and hopefully they’ll never have to use it.”
Elnicki also took the opportunity to give Baker Fire a tour of the Pittsburg facility. He walked firefighters through potential dangers with grain dryers, rail cars and grain bins, as well as making them aware of chemicals, natural gas valves and other areas that could be a hazard in the event of a fire.
“Our main goal is to get Baker familiar with the facility,” Elnicki said. “Where our power shutoffs are, what equipment we have and any potential hazards there are if a fire ever broke out. We don’t want an emergency, but in the event of one, we want to be prepared.”
Elnicki said Scoular does walkthroughs of the facility with Baker Fire at least once a year, and with the donation, it seemed like a good opportunity for an update.
Baker Fire Chief Mike Ryan said he appreciates the proactivity of Scoular and Elnicki.
“We appreciate everything these guys have done,” he said. “We need to get out to these facilities as often as possible, and they do a great job keeping us prepared.”
Ryan said the grain rescue tube will be a benefit not only to Baker Fire, but the entire county.
“I’m not as worried about this facility, but farmers who may get trapped,” Ryan said. “We will make this equipment available to the whole county, so it will be out there to help those farmers in the case of an emergency.”
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.