Posted November 12, 2012 by admin in Vacuum Truck Blog

Emergency Crews Team Up to Pull Man to Safety


LOGANSPORT — Emergency personnel used ropes and a large vacuum to pull a Clymers farmworker from a grain elevator Monday afternoon.

The Logansport Fire Department responded to the accident at the 18th Street elevator about 1 p.m. Monday, finding Juan Cadillo, a worker at Duane Dietrich’s farm in Clymers, chin-deep in corn.

Through a system of ropes and the use of a Vactor truck from Logansport Municipal Utilities, the multiple agencies vacuumed up the grain while keeping the man secure, and he was later able to crawl to safety.

Dietrich said he was with Cadillo at the elevator when the grain stopped flowing and Cadillo crawled in to fix the problem. Dietrich said the grain suddenly began flowing again, but too quickly.

“It just broke loose, and all at once I realized I had to shut things down,” Dietrich said.

Dietrich shut off the grain bin and called 9-1-1.

“I knew we needed some help,” Dietrich said.

Logansport Fire Chief Mark Strong said that when firefighters arrived, they could see only the man’s head above the corn.

Though the fire department had the option of cutting open the silo, Strong said, they feared an explosion of grain dust. They were also afraid the man would suffocate while they waited.

As they contemplated the options, the Cass County Fire District arrived with a ladder truck, and members from both fire departments secured the man with ropes from the side and from above.

“The two of us worked together to keep him from going any further,”

said Lt. Rex Danely at the county fire district.

Then they decided to call LMU, which quickly dispatched its truck to help siphon the grain away from Cadillo.

“It was a life saver,” Strong said.

Strong added that rescuers were helped by the fact that the 70-foot silo was only about a third filled with corn.

Once the corn was cleared, the man was able to crawl out at 2:11 p.m., and the first thing he did was shake hands with Strong.

The Walton Fire Department, Lucerne Fire Department, Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Logansport Police Department and Cass County Emergency Management Agency were also on scene.

“They all worked well together in assessing what they needed and getting the gentleman out of the grain bin,” said Sheriff Randy Pryor.

Throughout the rescue, the man was breathing and talking with the rescuers.

“He was able to keep his cool,” Strong said.

Though firefighters are trained on grain silo rescues, Danely said this was the first time he’d had to use that training.

“I’ve been in the fire service for almost 25 years, and I’ve heard of them, I’ve trained for it, but I’ve never been on the scene for something like this,” Danely said.

Danely said he was glad Cadillo was able to make it out alive.

“Any time there’s somebody stuck in a corn or bean silo, there’s rarely a good turnout,” he said.