Mid-Plains Community College's fire science director is helping to make Nebraska a safer place with the addition of a new portable grain bin rescue simulator.
Tim Zehnder is using the newly completed rescue simulator to train area fire departments in grain bin safety.
Zehndertook the rescue simulator to the Nebraska Society of Fire ServiceInstructors Les Lukert Convention in Kearney, where he used it for the firsttime training emergency responders from around the state.
"Thisprop allows us to take it out to local fire departments, feedlots, co-ops,schools and virtually anywhere there is a need to teach grain bin rescuesafety," Zehnder said.
Emergency responders will be taught how to set up a rope system to raise a victim out of a grain bin using the simulator and training dummy.
Zehndersays responders also need to know the types of bins they may encounter, the dangersassociated with specific designs, the mechanics of bins and how to operate asafe and successful rescue/recovery.
He says an important part of that trainingincludes the proper ropes, rigging and equipment to use in the rescue, theproper techniques for building a barricade around a victim and the needmaintaining proper air quality.
The entire training structure ismounted on a trailer with augers so that it all can be transported to locations across the state.
MPCCis offering two types of grain bin safety training: one for firefighters andresponders, the other is a grain-bin awareness class for those involved ingrain-bin operations.
Forfirefighters and responders, the training sessions will be 12 hours unless additional rope andrigging training is needed. Classes can be split up into shorter sessions.
Thegrain-bin awareness class is an eight-hour class aimed at making those employedin agriculture-related businesses aware of the types of things emergencyresponders need and will ask about in responding to a grain-bin rescueoperation.
For more information on the classes, go to www.mpcc.edu.