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Family and Farming

Therein Lies the Danger

Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

When it comes to farming, there is always the potential for dangerous situations to arise. It surrounds daily tasks, but one of the most dangerous things a farmer can do is get into a grain bin.

Arick Baker, of New Providence, IA, was buried alive in 2013 with 18 inches of corn above his head in an 80,000-bushel grain bin. He was certain he was going to die.

“My whole life I’ve been told that once you go down in a grain bin, you die,” Baker said. The ABC Show, In An Instant, detailed the miracle rescue that occurred on June 26, 2013, that ultimately saved Baker’s life.

“Statistics say you will get a recovery, not rescue,” said Iowa Falls Fire Chief Rick Gustin1. The stats were against his survival. From 1964 to 2005, 74 percent of reported grain entrapments resulted in fatalities, according to a study by Purdue University2. In 2016, there were 29 entrapment accidents with 18 incidents being fatal, that is almost a 21 percent increase from 2015.

After roughly five hours being submerged in corn, Baker was pulled out alive by one of the rescuers. He credits his survival to the ventilation mask he was wearing. The mask doesn’t make oxygen, but it filters air that is dirty from the dust and mold on the corn.

 


Arick Baker, of New Providence, IA, survived being submerged in a grain bin full of corn, for nearly five hours, in June 2013. (Photo: David Purdy, The Des Moines Register)

 

“It saved my life, Baker said. “Without that helmet, I would have been dead in less than three minutes.”

Beck’s customer, Daryl Bridenbaugh, believes every farmer should learn from Baker’s accident and watch the episode. When the episode re-aired, he made sure to contact local agricultural businesses and bring it to their attention.

“Every farmer should watch Arick Baker’s episode,” Bridenbaugh said. “It brings tears to my eyes every single time I watch it. It will honestly scare the living daylights out of you, and you will never go into a grain bin without thinking about that show. It changes your whole perspective.”

The show was especially emotional for Bridenbaugh. In 2012, he was applying a nitrogen application to one of his fields in northwest Ohio. He was in a hurry to get to one of the fields that was down a steep hill, and ended up flipping the nitrogen tank sideways. He was violently thrown off the rear fender, and was pinned under his John Deere 4020.

 


Daryl Bridenbaugh's tractor after an unfortunate accident applying nitrogen to one of his fields in northwest Ohio. 

 

He was airlifted to the hospital, where he found out he had cracked his pelvis. He spent seven days in the intensive care unit and two more weeks in the rehab unit.

“I never want to feel that pain again,” he said.

September 17 to 23 is National Farm Safety and Health Week, and Bridenbaugh believes that the ABC episode is a good reminder that farming incidents can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s important to take precautions while on the farm.

“What happened to Arick could happen to anybody,” he said. “He didn’t intend for it to happen. My advice to every farmer is, if it looks dangerous, just don’t do it."

To watch Arick’s video, visit http://abc.tv/2i76XSc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Katherine Klingseis, The Des Moines Register. “Farmer bucks odds, survives being trapped in grain bin.” Published 12:10 p.m. USA Today. July 5, 2013.

2) Salah Issa, et al. “2016 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities.” Purdue University. March 2017. http://src.bna.com/nhX.

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Marissa Melchi
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Marissa Melchi

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