Grantee Update: Carthage Volunteer Fire Department

2021 Cycle II Community Funds Grant Recipient: $3,727.95

Submitted by: Virgil Bremer

At the end of 2020 the Carthage Volunteer Fire Department decided that it was going to increase our response capabilities to include grain bin rescue capabilities. After a detailed risk analysis it was determined that rope rescue equipment would be a requirement to safely and effectively perform that task. We also determined that by adding rope rescue equipment we would be able to utilize that equipment and skills in a much broader response for additional tasks such as low angle rope rescue, ice rescue, and floodwater rescue.


Our next objective was to identify the hardware needed in order to perform these additional functions with the priority being grain bin rescue. We partnered with several sources to obtain the required equipment. Hancock Dermatology provided 4,000 dollars of funding to build a rappel tower and purchase a grain bin. These two props will allow us to gain proficiency in both rope operations, as well as practice in real world grain bin engulfment scenarios. We determined the total cost of the rope equipment would be 6,827 dollars. We then prioritized the most important items. Harnesses, Ropes, and a portable drill powered grain auger were identified. The total cost of these items was $3,727.95.


Corteva Agriscience, and the Community Foundation both awarded the CVFD grants with Corteva providing $2,500 and The Community Foundation $3,727.95. The Fire Department authorized purchasing the remaining items needed to provide the total equipment and training needed. We purchased the remaining equipment that the grants did not fund, as well as ice rescue training technician training for $350, and Rope Rescue Technician certifications for 10 members at a cost of $3,500.


With rope training complete we will now focus our attention on training the remaining members of the department on rope systems, and finishing construction of the grain bin training prop. We expect work to be complete by the end of 2022. These grants allow the CVFD to directly serve over 2,100 residents in our 36 square mile service area. We also believe in contributing to the greatest amount possible. Once the training grounds are fully functional we will invite all of the mutual aid departments around us, and even beyond, to come participate in the grain bin trainings as we train ourselves. This train the trainer concept will allow the funds received to have maximum reach possible. The educations that will be taken back to other departments and implemented there will allow tens of thousands of citizens in east central Indiana to be better served by their respective fire department.


Have a look at their equipment and training sessions through these great posts on their Facebook page:

According to a 2014 study by researchers at Purdue University, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported with a fatality rate of 62 percent over the past 50 years. The Carthage Volunteer Fire Department proactively sought a way to prevent Rush County farmers from adding to these statistics. How important is your support of RCCF? It could save a life – thank you!

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