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Source: Nationwide news release

Des Moines, IA - Every year, thousands of farmers and commercial grain handlers risk their lives by entering grain bins to remove clumped or rotted grain. As rural communities have come to know all too well, an accident in a grain bin can quickly turn deadly. In just seconds, adults can sink to their waist in flowing grain, rendering them completely trapped without the proper rescue devices. These accidents result in dozens of lost lives each year, and deaths have spiked in 2019 and early 2020 due to the wet harvest.

To lead the fight against these all-too-common accidents, the country's leading insurer of farms and ranches1, Nationwide, in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), is awarding 41 fire departments across the country with life-saving grain rescue tubes and hands-on training to prepare them to respond when grain accidents occur.

In 2014, Nationwide initiated its Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign to educate those entering grain bins about the hazards involved and the importance of implementing safe entry procedures. A central piece of the campaign, the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest, aims to address the lack of specialized resources available to rural fire departments who are responding to bin entrapments. With 2020's donations included, Nationwide has awarded grain rescue tubes and training to 152 fire departments in 30 states.

After receiving 1,006 nominations in this year's contest, Nationwide and its partners are proud to award grain rescue tubes and training to 41 fire departments.

To view the list of fire departments, click here.

NECAS, based out of Peosta, IA, will deliver the tubes and training to the winning fire departments throughout 2020. Since 2014, four fire departments have put their rescue tubes and training to action by rescuing workers trapped in grain bins.

According to United Press International reports, grain bin deaths spiked last year and in early 2020 due to last season's wet harvest. In February 2020, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue brought a national spotlight to Nationwide's efforts by proclaiming Feb. 16-22 as National Grain Bin Safety Week.

"It's as important as ever to be following proper safety precautions when entering a bin," said Liggett. "Our goal is to continue these efforts until we can ensure every rural fire department has access to these critical rescue resources."

The program is supported by Nationwide and the following generous partners:

CHS, Corteva AgriScience, KC Supply, Lutz Agency, Inc., NECAS, ProValue Insurance, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, AGI SureTrack, Delaware Farm Bureau, GROWMARK, Kathy Barry Agency, Maryland Farm Bureau, New York Farm Bureau, Ohio Farm Bureau, Specialty Risk Insurance, Springer Insurance and Financial Services, ABIS Agri-Business Insurance Services, Carter Fire District, First Gabrielson Agency, Frazer Insurance Agency, Gallagher, German American Insurance, Graves-Fearon Agency, Miami County Ohio Farm Bureau, Scoular, West Side Salvage, GIT Insurance, Grimes Financial & Insurance Group, Stuber Insurance Agency, Sump Saver, Nohr Wortmann Engineering

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