The Rural Fire Departments in Richardton and Linton recently received life-saving grain bin rescue equipment and training through a donation from Farm Credit Services of Mandan.

Farm Credit Services donated a 10-panel system manufactured by Minnesota-based Outstate Data. The equipment is designed by rescuers specifically for grain bin entrapments. “We have had 18 successful saves with this equipment,” said Dale Ekdahl, designer and trainer for Outstate Data.

Nearly 15 volunteer firefighters from Richardton along with employees from Red Trail Energy attended Ekdahls training session at the ethanol plant in Richardton. “This was a very good hands-on training. Dale had us practice and discuss different entrapment situations as no two rescues are the same,” said Jason Kostelecky, Richardton Fire Chief. “We are so appreciative of Farm Credit’s support,” he added.

Even as the overall rate of serious injuries and fatalities on farm has fallen, the number of grain bin entrapments remains is increasing in part because the country’s high grain production and volatile markets has led to more storage bins that require more movement of grain.

About 20 volunteer firefighters from Linton, Strasburg and Hazelton attended the training session at the Farmer’s Elevator in Linton. “We appreciate Farm Credit’s support and the training was very good,” said Pat Gerving, Linton Fire Chief. “I asked about getting this equipment and Farm Credit Services stepped in to help, which was great,” added Ryan Nagel, a local farmer.

“We are proud to support the rural fire departments that protect our farmers and ranchers and our way of life. Hopefully we can make a difference in the rural communities we serve,” said Aaron Vetter, CEO Farm Credit Services of Mandan.

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