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University of Iowa Holds Grain Bin Rescue Training

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa held a unique training session for a group of medical students on Monday afternoon.

A grain bin was hauled onto campus so that students could be lowered in and rescued by a team of volunteers.

“I’ve always been around this all of my life,” DeAnn Scott, an agriculture student and intern at Amana Farms, said. “It’s one thing to be around it and a different thing to actually be in the bin.”

Scott grew up on a diversified family farm in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

She says she was never faced with a life-threatening situation there.

“My dad always emphasized being safe around PTO shafts and just common sense safety,” she said. ‘But they had me get into stuff when I was older just so I could appreciate more of the risk that was there.”

And according to Dan Neenan, the director for the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, that risk is a huge issue.

“Average grain bin rescue time in America is 3.5 hours from the time firefighter get on scene,” Neenan said. “We know that there are safety issues but we’re working to get better all the time.”

He also says agriculture is the most dangerous and deadly field to work in.

That’s why it’s important to educate medical students to be prepared for farming accident victims they may treat in the future.

“They don’t get a chance to get out on the farm and see how the trauma is occurring,” Neenan said. “So it’s really important for them to take programs like this so they have an understanding of the process.”

And Scott agrees.

“If it happens it’s not going to be an opportunity to learn about it. It’s going to be a risky situation and even life threatening situation,” Scott said. “It’s better to have it in a more controlled environment.”

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