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After donation, Larimore Fire Department to purchase grain bin safety equipment

Branches of the company are searching for ways to make meaningful donations in their areas, from toys and clothes to foodbanks. In Arvilla, CGI employees decided to address some of the potentially dangerous tasks associated with farming, such as working around grain bins.

Larimore Fire Department-CGI.png
Dustin Barber, left, and Don Christensen, center, accept a donation from Tyler Kieffer and Tyler Stegman, with CGI.<br/>
submitted photo

The Larimore Volunteer Fire Department will soon be purchasing some grain bin rescue equipment after receiving a donation from Columbia Grain international, located nearby in Arvilla.

CGI has launched its Cultivating Community Christmas Campaign, after a difficult year for agricultural producers which has been marked by drought, fires and supply chain disruptions. CGI, which has numerous locations in North Dakota, including in Grand Forks, operates in northern-tier states from Oregon to Minnesota.

Branches of the company are searching for ways to make meaningful donations in their areas, from toys and clothes to foodbanks. In Arvilla, CGI employees decided to address some of the potentially dangerous tasks associated with farming, such as working around grain bins.

“This was something we did that maybe was a little different than other people because we thought about safety, and the importance of that for us and our customers,” said Tyler Kieffer, of CGI.

Don Christensen, chief of Larimore’s volunteer fire department, said grain bin accidents happen from time to time. The donation from CGI will go toward ropes, harnesses and other safety equipment firefighters used when they respond to an incident at a grain bin.

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“It was great, it’ll help us improve and get ready for the next one,” Christensen said. “Hopefully there's not a next one.”

Responding to a person becoming trapped in a grain bin is not an infrequent occurrence in the state for which first responders need to be prepared. In February 2020, an 80-year-old man was killed after becoming trapped in a grain bin in Ramsey County. In June that year, a woman in Stutsman County died in a similar accident.

According to the 2020 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities, North Dakota and Minnesota logged the second most number of confined space accidents in the country, with seven incidents in each state. Illinois logged the most number of incidents with 17. The annual report is compiled by the Agricultural Safety and Health Program, at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

In 2020, there were 64 fatal and non-fatal cases of confinement in agricultural spaces. Of those, 35 involved grain-related entrapments, nearly an 8% decrease from the previous year.

Given the nature of the work CGI and its customers do, Kieffer said having that rescue equipment at a local fire department can be a reassuring thought for area farmers.

“It's very important equipment for rescue services to have,” he said.

CGI is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The company originates, processes and distributes bulk grains, edible beans, oilseeds and organics for the U.S. domestic market, as well as worldwide export markets.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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