Fundraising for grain bin rescue equipment underway

	Van Buren County Farm Bureau member Jim Shank, left, is overseeing fundraising efforts to purchase grain bin rescue equipment available to county fire departments, such as the grain auger shoes held by County FB Administrator Danielle Rickli, right. The county Farm Bureau has set a goal to purchase two, 8-by-10 cargo trailers and stock them with the rescue equipment needed to respond to a grain bin accident. One trailer will be located in the northern region of the county; the other, in the southern region

By Paul Garrod

    PAW PAW -  The Van Buren County Farm Bureau is currently raising funds to purchase  grain bin rescue equipment.
    “It’s our goal that we never have to use it, but if the need should ever arise, county fire departments will be properly equipped,” said Van Buren County Farm Bureau member Jim Shank, who is overseeing the fundraising efforts with  county FB Administrator Danielle Rickli.
    The county Farm Bureau has set a goal to purchase two, 8-by-10 cargo trailers, that would be strategically placed within the county’s northern and southern  areas (Decatur-Lawrence and Bangor, respectively). Each trailer would be equipped with rescue equipment needed in case of a grain bin accident.
    In addition to the two trailers, the county Farm Bureau  would like to purchase a rescue tube for every  fire department  in the county. The four-piece tubes snap together and can be placed around a person trapped in a grain bin.
    In addition to the rescue tubes, two pairs of grain auger shoes, a modified snowshoe, would be purchased for each  trailer.
    With backing from the county’s Firefighter’s Association, the county Farm Bureau has even offered funds to provide initial training to firefighters for  grain bin rescue.
    To date, 26 businesses and individuals have  supported the project, with approximately $20,000 raised. The county Farm Bureau will continue ef-forts to secure the final funding.   All donations will be accepted, and donations of $250, $500, $750 and $1,000 will be recognized on the trailers as Friends and Supporters of Agriculture in Van Buren County.
    Donations may be directed to: Van Buren County Farm Bureau, 38880 West Red Arrow Highway, Paw Paw, MI, 49079.

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Paw Paw, MI 49079
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