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Union Co. first responders go through training after saving man trapped in grain bin

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Published: May. 24, 2022 at 10:48 PM CDT
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UNION CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Three weeks ago, first responders in Union County saved a man who was trapped in a grain bin. Tuesday, they got some practice with grain bin emergencies.

On Tuesday, first responders in Sturgis received a 911 call for a man trapped in a grain bin.

That was Union County Emergency Management Director Rick White’s doing.

“We wanted it to be more of an actual live call, so we didn’t really send out a notice,” White says.

It was training exercise, and there wasn’t really any danger.

Three weeks ago though, Doug Omer was in danger.

“This same group of guys fished me out of a 80,000 bushel bin,” Omer says.

After being buried, they took six hours to get him out, and he walked away with internal bruising.

“I’m doing good, I’m still swollen and bruised. Pride’s hurt a little bit. Lucky to be here. Good lord and a lot of good people,” Omer says.

Tuesday, the first responders followed the exact steps they did for Omer, except this time with a considerably shallower bin.

First, they check on the patient and get moving.

“We have one guy that basically takes charge of the scene, inside the rescue, during the rescue.,” White says.

They’re harnessed up, and they have stretchers laid out in the tank to get to the patient.

Then they assemble a very handy tool.

“The rescue tube is what it’s called, and it basically interlocks... you slide it down around the patient... It runs off of a battery-operated drill, and it’s just like an auger. It just pours the corn out from around the patient. That way it gets the pressure up off the patient to where they can get the patient up out of the corn,” White says.

In Tuesday’s case, the patient was a volunteer, and they made sure he was hooked up to oxygen.

They made sure everyone got a good look at him.

After all, in cases of life or death, practice can often make perfect.

“It means everything, I mean they trained the Wednesday before my accident. It saved my life. Live to farm another day,” Omer says.

Omer says he’s been told he has a couple more months of recovery ahead of him.

First responders in Union County say they hope to be able to do trainings like this more frequently.

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