By Justin Walker
Communications Specialist

Coryell County Farm Bureau (CFB) purchased equipment for the Gatesville Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) that will benefit area farmers.

The equipment, named the Great Wall of Rescue, is designed to help rescue people who have become trapped inside a grain silo, Coryell CFB President Cody Archie said. The donation included a tube to be assembled over the victim, a grain auger, safety harness and ropes.

“We purchased it for our fire department to use in our area and the surrounding areas in case a farmer was trapped inside of a grain bin,” he said. “This allows the first responders to slide the tube around the person trapped inside, and then they augur the corn out to help retrieve the farmer.”

The donation was a necessity for the fire department, Archie said. When dealing with grain silo emergencies, timing is everything. This type of equipment can be found at larger fire departments in more urban cities, but for farmers in Coryell County, those rescuers are often too far away.

Having a local fire department with the resources to protect farmers and ranchers is important, Archie said.

“Coryell County Farm Bureau is an organization that is set up to advocate for farmers and ranchers,” he said. “We felt like it was necessary for us to do this in our area.”

There have been two incidents in the last few years where farmers became trapped in a grain silo in the areas surrounding Coryell County, Archie said. In one of those, equipment similar to what Coryell CFB purchased helped save the life of an individual.

The Gatesville VFD has notified surrounding fire departments of the donation and has offered the equipment’s use in any future grain silo rescues.

The donation is part of an ongoing effort by Coryell CFB to support local volunteer fire departments, Archie said. This donation, worth $3,200, is one he hopes won’t be used too often.

“We hope we never have to use it, but we are glad they have it,” he said.