Maury County Firefighters Rescue Man From Feed Bin
by Kim Gebbia
MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. - It's not a call firefighters get every day, but it's one they need to be prepared for in a farming community. A man was stuck inside a cattle feed bin for more than an hour before his coworkers determined they needed rescue crews to get him out.
When firefighter Patrick Ryan got the call he was a little surprised.
"This is the first call like this I have been on," said Ryan.
It happened inside a 25 foot silo off Hayes Denton Road in Maury County. A worker was stuck for hours standing on five to six feet of cattle feed.
Fire Chief Mark Gandee said this is what can make it dangerous for the person inside.
"You could get engulfed in there and if there is a product like grain in the silo it's like quicksand, the more you move into it, the more you sink," said Gandee.
The 911 call to Chief Gandee came in after several failed attempts by coworkers to pull the man out on their own. He did not have a ladder inside, but did have a rope. After trying to climb out for almost hour, officials said he was too exhausted to do it on his own.
The caller to 911 was the man's employer at Maury Farmers' Co-op. In the recording he states, "He climbed in to get some feed. He got exhausted and can't get back up."
Hearing this, Gandee's biggest concern was the limited oxygen inside depleting by the minute.
"You could become asphyxiated no air that is the purpose of a silo there is no air exchange," said Gandee.
Crews on scene lowered an air quality device into the bin along with a firefighter. The only way out for both men was through a tiny hole at the top, no bigger than a pizza.
"16-18 inches in diameter you that and put it down near your feet and figure you had to get through that hole," said Gandee.
After more than three hours stuck in a dark bin, firefighters pulled the man out to safety.
"I think he was very glad to be out, very glad," said Gandee.
After the whole ordeal, the man inside denied any sort of medical attention. He was given the rest of the day off and is doing fine.