Training center completes new addition

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Something new at the Paris Fire Department’s Hartley-Taylor Training Center on Cherry Point Road reflects the kind of specialized training firefighters in rural communities need.

Working with the GSI plant at Paris, firefighters erected a small grain bin to practice rescue techniques for grain entrapment. The scaled-down bin provides enough space to work inside with the specialized tools needed to safely remove grain around a trapped person without more grain flowing in and replacing what is removed.

GSI engineer Mason Clarey designed the special features needed to make the six-foot diameter bin a training facility. He did this in consultation with Paris Fire Captain Steve Gallagher and his own practical experience as a volunteer firefighter at Cayuga, Ind.

Some of the features Clarey incorporated to assist in training are two exterior ladders, platforms at the top where firefighters can tie-off for safety, ladders on the inside and the ability to remove the top of the bin and place it on the ground using an I-beam superstructure.

A special bracket on the back of the bin secures extra side panels so firefighters can practice making V-cuts in the metal without cutting into the actual bin. During a rescue, such cuts may be needed to facilitate removing the grain rapidly, but in a controlled manner. Failure to make the cuts correctly can result in bin collapse and complicate the rescue effort.

GSI plant manager Phil Brown was eager to help the fire department because of the safety aspect to the local farm community and because safety is a top priority of AGCO, GSI’s parent company. He added the project with the fire department is an example of GSI’s community involvement and the company has helped the high school and police department in the past.

“It is easier sometimes for us to supply that knowledge, than help in other ways,” said Brown.

All of the material that went into the training bin, including the I-beams, was surplus left over from other projects at the plant.

“I was able to recycle what we had outside,” said Clarey.

He explained his work had nothing to do with the actual engineering of the bin because product engineering is done at another facility.

“I build the things that we need to build the product,” said Clarey.

Brown added a big part of Clarey’s work is supporting the safety effort at the plant.

Once Clarey knew the safety features Gallagher wanted for the training facility he made some calculations and drawings but did not create full engineering plans.

“A lot of the credit goes to a couple of our skilled fabricators,” said Clarey.

He discussed his ideas with Duane Maloney and Mike Abernathy, who took the concept and built it from Clarey’s sketches.