In March, our Agribusiness branch in Marlette, Michigan, donated $2,000 to the Sigel Township Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team. The check was presented by Marlette Branch Manager Annette Puvaloski.
The donation helped the rescue team purchase one cofferdam and one rescue auger to help with grain silo rescues, replacing outdated wooden equipment.
A cofferdam is a tube-like, watertight enclosure made of aluminum normally used in shipbuilding and bridge repair to allow work to take place underwater. It can also be used to rescue farmers trapped in moving grain, as the grain can sometimes act like quicksand.
A rescue auger is a tool with a helical bit on top that can be powered by a drill. In a silo rescue, a trapped farmer is surrounded by the cofferdam. Inside, the auger is then used to create a vacuum-like effect that removes enough grain to allow rescuers to pull the farmer to safety.