New app aims to be a life-saving tool for farmers

DECATUR-- The latest tool for those working the farms can be found on your phone, as a new app aims to speed up response times during a farming emergency.

If a farmer falls into a full grain bin, it only takes minutes for them to drown inside. So when grain rescue tubes first appeared on the market, they quickly became a life-saver.

"They would encompass the individual who was trapped and then and then they could force down the grain to give space to get this person pulled up out of the grain," said WAND Ag Expert, David Brown. "And so I thought somebody's thinking, somebody's trying to figure out how to save time."

To save more time when searching for a rescue tube, there's now an app for that.

"Farmers know the inherent risks of getting inside these bins," said Brown. "So if we have something like this in case we have an emergency or a rare incident, why yes, it has to be helpful."

It's called the Illinois Grain Rescue Tube Locator. It uses a GPS to track down the nearest farm or fire department with a rescue tube handy, all with just the click of a button.

"This app is a valuable tool," said Brown. "I just learned something already when you came out here--that there's one less than ten miles away, that could be minutes saved and be a rescue for someone who only has minutes to live."

Around 40 percent of last year's 33 grain entrapments across the country ended in death. This year, there were 33 incidents by mid-summer. And although the final numbers for 2014 are not out yet, there is always a need to reduce the risk.

"All of us in agriculture have heard of these things," said Brown. "And know it can happen way too quickly."

And to make responses just as quick, the app is available for download in the iTunes and Google Play stores.
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