WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 16, 2010, 10:29 AM

Big Iron Farm Expo attraction could save lives

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The Big Iron Farm Expo drew big crowds this week at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, but one attraction in general gathered a lot of interested spectators.

The Big Iron Farm Expo offers plenty of ways for growers to increase their yields and to make farm work more efficient, but one gadget on display was marketed to saving lives. It's called the Res-Q-tube. 4 aluminum boards that can be inserted into a grain bin if someone becomes trapped.

Together they create a 30-inch wide cylinder that relieves pressure off the victim, and allows rescuers to remove the grain that's trapping them without more grain spilling in. Michigan firefighter Mike Laird, who's also a member of the Search and Technical Rescue Association, tours the country giving demonstrations of the Res-Q-Tube.

As a rescuer, he knows when it comes to grain bins, time is of the essence.

"You get approximately 650 lbs of pressure at your waste line is what you're feeling. Let's take it a step higher and take it to your chest wall. 950 to 1000 pounds of pressure in a large bin and then everything above that is really a moot point because no one has ever been able to breathe grain. I hate to make light of it, but it is an actual reality. Once the grain is over your head, we don't get you immediately; we're going to lose you."

Lehrd says the Res-Q Tube is worth its $2600 price tag simply for the piece of mind it offers, and he says many local fire departments have already been looking into getting one. The Res-Q Tube can be purchased through many grain bin manufacturers, like GSI and CMC.