LAMAR — The Nittany Valley Fire Company coordinated a special training day for local fire companies.
On April 2, fire companies throughout Clinton County were invited to Snavely’s Mill Inc. in Clintondale for a grain bin rescue training. According to Lisa Snavely, it was the first time the mill hosted the special training for fire fighters.
The training was set up through the Department of Emergency Services in Clinton County and coordinated by the Nittany Valley Fire Company. The training was conducted by instructors, Steve Brown, Randy Acker and Austin Jellill from Penn State University.
The fire chief for Nittany Valley, Ben Stoltzfus, said the training involved rescue procedures that go along with grain bin rescuing. He added people can sink into grain bins, which usually house loose grains like shelled corn, beans and wheat. The more a person tries to get out, the deeper the person sinks.
Special rescue kits are used to save people trapped in these bins. The equipment was purchased by the Northcentral Task Force which is made up of 10 counties including Clinton.
“The Northcentral Task Force gave all the local counties here — each county received a grain bin rescue kit. Then Penn State does the training. They come out and bring a trailer with them. We add about two tons of loose grain in a bin on the trailer to simulate someone being in the loose grain. We use the kit to train the people (fire fighters) to get the grain out from around the person, so we can extricate them,” Stoltzfus said.
The training lasted from 10 am to 3 pm with about 26 first responders from five stations in two counties participating, according to the department of emergency services.
“A special thank you to Snavely’s Mill for providing an area for the exercise and for the tour,” the department said. “Our office was happy to coordinate the process of receiving the rescue equipment and finding a station to hold the responsibility of ensuring its response in time of need.”