Farm kids are taught at a young age to respect farm machinery, grain bins, and equipment. A farm accident is every rural resident's worst nightmare. That nightmare almost came true for Princeton, Indiana farmer Robert Wallace on Monday. Wallace was trying to loosen some crusted corn in one of his grain bins when the corn collapsed and he was trapped up to his chest.
After trying unsuccessfully to free him, Wallace's son called 911. The call was responded to by the Princeton Fire Protection Territory and after two hours, firefighters Chad Butts and Nick Bratcher were able to successfully rescue Wallace. That rescue was made possible by a RES-Q Tube purchased for the fire department by the South Gibson and Princeton High School FFA chapters.
Gibson Southern High School agriculture teacher Richard Ritter said his FFA students saw the demonstration for a local tractor club. "The students saw how the tube worked and wanted to purchase it for the county fire departments." Firefighter Tim Speedy said that not only did the tube work perfectly for Wallace's resuce, "the departments would not have had it to use today had the students not donated it."
Interestingly, Monday, the day of the rescue, was also the first weekday of National FFA Week. According to the National FFA Website, "FFA Week gives members a chance to the public about agriculture. During the week, chapters host teacher appreciation breakfasts, conduct 'Ag Olympics' competitions, speak to the public about agriculture, volunteer for community service projects, and more." My favorite part of FFA Week as a high school student was always "Drive Your Tractor to School Day," a chance for the rural students to demonstrate their family's equipment to the our urban classmates, but also a time to educate ourselves and the public about farm safety.
I don't know if the Gibson Southern and Princeton High School FFA chapters made farm safety a part of their FFA week this year, but their year-round dedication to the topic certainly saved one local farmer's life this week.