Representatives from multiple Clay County agencies came together in Spencer Thursday to receive some brief training following the donation of a pair of grain bin rescue tubes. The donation came courtesy of Farm Credit Services of America.
Area groups came together in January for an initial training on the rescue tubes, following a pair of grain bin-related fatalities over the course of the past two years. While the training was valuable, cost of the rescue tubes was prohibitive for area response teams.
"We hope they never have to use them," Edlon Goff, with Farm Credit Services of America, said.
"We work with farmers everyday," Goff continued. "... That's our livelihood. We have some discretionary money and decided that's where they wanted to put it."
Denny Klatt, Spencer Fire Department engineer and training officer, said the donation is appreciated.
"It was good timing," Klatt said. "Harvest is upon us and things like this happen. Hopefully Clay County is a bit more prepared now and we have some of the equipment to perform rescues."
Goff said his agency announced plans to distribute a pair of tubes to five communities in northern Iowa. Spencer was among those to receive the tubes. They will be shared, as needed, with area agencies.
"This past August, Eldon Goff with Farm Credit Services stopped by," Klatt explained. "We had been looking at them since our training in January, but they were pretty expensive. For a pair, you're looking at $5,000. ... It takes a lot of pancakes to pay for those."
"More of these are showing up in other places," Goff suggested, adding that local elevators and coops might be making similar purchases as an ongoing safety measure.
The tubes were purchased from Outstate Data, an Elbow Lakes, Minn. business. The company operator, Dale Ekdahl, provided the instructional support Thursday.