Training to save lives

It’s the nightmare scenario for grain workers: You’re working inside the grain bin when you’re suddenly engulfed by grain. You try to escape, but the grain acts like quicksand, making it impossible to pull yourself out — and difficult for anyone else to lift you out without specialized training.

To prepare firefighters and grain workers for this potentially deadly situation, the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute at the University of Kansas is providing grain engulfment rescue training in communities across Kansas. The daylong course combines classroom instruction with training on a 35-foot trailer that includes a grain bin, grain hopper and equipment to pull a person from a bin.

“This training will save lives,” said Glenn Pribbenow, KFRTI director. “So it’s crucial that we train first responders and grain workers throughout Kansas.”

Communities such as Hutchinson, Garden City, and Pittsburg have already signed on for training, and the KFRTI will continue taking requests throughout the year.

“First and foremost, we train to prevent entrapments and engulfments,” said Kim Forbes, chief of the Hutchinson Fire Department. “But it’s important that grain handlers and firefighters be prepared to respond if the need arises.”

Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute

  • The Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute at KU provides training for firefighters in Kansas through a "mobile fire academy" concept, which brings training directly to kansas communities.
  • The KFRTI trains approximately 9,000 firefighters in 500 events annually.
  • Grain engulfment rescue training is possible thanks to a $90,000 donation from the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, the Kansas Cooperative Council, and the Kansas Farmers service association.

Schedule grain engulfment rescue training in your community

To arrange for training in your community, contact the KFRTI at 866-804-8841 or

Wed, 01/11/2012


Media Contacts

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson

KU News Service