Joey Greibrok, a third-generation farmer, is more aware than ever of the dangers of emptying and cleaning grain bins. In August 2017, Greibrok, his father, and uncles gathered at the family farm to perform this annual process.
Depending on the situation, if a farmer enters a grain bin it can take less than a minute to become completely engulfed in grain.
“My dad got in and the auger sucked him down,” Greibrok said. “I looked the 30 to 40 feet down and all I could see was the top of his face.”
Fire Chief Matt Webb was headed to work when he heard the 911 report come in over his pager. With a total population of 643 in the rural town of Glenville, Minn., Webb immediately recognized the address of the Greibrok’s farm.
“In a rural setting, you know the people that you are responding to on a first name basis,” Webb said. “You know their kids, their family, their job.”
Webb arrived at the scene within 10 minutes and began the emergency procedures. Nearly two hours later, Webb and other first responders rescued Greibrok’s father from the grain bin.
“It felt like an eternity,” Webb said. “But the [grain rescue] training came back quickly, and it was a relief we had our own equipment. The program that’s out there for these tubes and training is such a life-saving resource in our county.”
The Glenville Fire Department had been awarded a grain rescue tube and training from Nationwide two years prior.
When asked how it felt to save a life, Webb tearfully responded: “He was about like family. For the outcome that day – there wasn’t a better feeling.”
For more information about the program, purpose or nomination process, visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com.