West Fargo firefighters train for grain bin rescues

"Farmers are in their bins all the time so training like this; we need to take advantage of this as much as we can."

WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The West Fargo Fire department shows us one of the many things they train on when they’re not fighting fires.

“We like to get indoor training like this for the winter times, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of the cold weather, stay inside, but farming accidents like grain bin extrication can occur anytime,” West Fargo Fire Department Training Chief Matt Berg said.

Training Chief for the West Fargo Fire Department, Matt Berg says the training is a whole lot different than fighting fires.

“Regular firefighting we pull our hose daily, weekly, things like this bin extrication we don’t do all the time, lower frequency higher risk we don’t do this so getting our hands on these props learning how the grain moves, being inside the confined space it makes a big difference to train the firefighters to know what they’re going to deal with when something like this happens,” said Berg.

Berg says although these types of scenarios occur less frequently than fires many of them happen right here in the community.

“I know in North Dakota in the last year there’s been four or five fatalities, not sure on how many close calls, we don’t always hear about those close calls of farmers getting entrapped by themselves but they are happening close to us so it’s great to take advantage of the props that the NDFA has to offer,” Berg said.

Firefighters are trained to work closely with one other and be ready to use any tools available to them at the moment.

“We use our incident command system very well , we have one of our firefighter up on top relaying messages back and forth from the ground back in and the coordination to get these things done is immense, we’ll use ladder trucks, we’ll use rope, we’ll use rigging we’ll use anything that we can to try to help us out in any situation. It is very key to use those struts, those panels, but it is very important,” said Berg.

Berg says it’s always good for the department to be prepared for situations like this.

“Farmers are in their bins all the time so training like this; we need to take advantage of this as much as we can,” Berg said.

Chief Berg says a typical grain bin rescue can vary between one and eight hours.

Categories: North Dakota News