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Grain Bin Safety Demonstration Helps First Responders Practice Rescue Skills

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  This week marks the fifth annual Nationwide Grain Bin Safety Week.

It's a mission dedicated to increasing awareness of the dangers farmers face working around grain bins. On Wednesday morning, Des Moines first responders put on a grain bin rescue demonstration at the Nationwide facility along Walnut Street. The simulation showcased the importance of having necessary tools to safely perform a grain bin rescue.

"The reason that we do this is that we found that there is no best practices in the industry on how to get somebody out," said Steve Simmons, associate vice president of risk management at Nationwide. "So we have a lot of first responders, not just the individual who is engulfed in it, but also the first responders who also who go in to to try to get someone out. So that is part of the reason why we do this."

Purdue University found 17 people died in entrapments in 2014, and 38 cases were reported that year. It was the highest number since 2010, when at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain accidents.