Rescue Task Force Seeks Donations
The Clay County Sheriff's Rescue Task Force recently purchased a grain bin rescue tube for $5,000 from a grant received from East Arkansas Development, but the tube is not the only piece of equipment needed to facilitate its use.
The team is asking for donations so it can purchase an auger for pulling the grain out of the bin, ropes, harnesses, a generator and air tools such as air chisels and air regulators, as well as training for the team.
"The goal is to have two setups, one on each side of the county, and 30 certified people to run the equipment," rescue team leader Jeff Wolfenbarger said. Two complete systems will cost about $44,000, and training for $12,000 which includes Sarta Trainer Bill Harp. Harp will bring a mock grain bin along with him for training, so the team can use the equipment in the right setting. The team will be certified in rope rescue and the basics of confined space rescue.
The team will be asking for donations door-to-door at some point and will visit with area farmers, Wolfenbarger said. Fundraising efforts will be in the task force's future as well, but nothing has been set to date.
The effort began when Wolfenbarger and Huston Bowden attended a Farm Bureau rescue class, which brought the question, "what if something did happen," to light for both men. The task force, along with fire departments from Rector, Greenway, McDougal, Pollard and Corning, began meeting and talking about the "what if," and decided to do something. It took five months, but the first tube was purchased. "It's going to be a long road to get where we need to be, which is why it's so important to get donations," Wolfenbarger said. "It's also important to have these tubes in place, since we live in an agriculture-rich area."