Local firefighters train for worst-case scenarios involving agricultural machines

Local firefighters train for rescue missions involving agricultural machinery
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 12:06 AM CDT
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COLONA, Ill. (KWQC) - Firefighters gathered at a Colona fire station on Sunday to receive formal training for rescue missions involving heavy agricultural machinery such as tractors and combines.

Over 40 firefighters from 13 local departments participated in the training that included operations to rescue a person who had become victim of a rollover, entanglement or entrapment.

Most of the firefighters in attendance are also farmers. The training they received on Sunday can also be used while they are working the field. Assistant chief of the Osco-Andover fire department, Tom Bosold, is one of them.

“Farming is indeed one of the most dangerous occupations,” said Bosold, “in the united states and beyond really in the whole world.” He added, “I’ve seen and I’ve witnessed friends, family, and obviously other farmers in our district, have accidents.”

A fatal accident is what led Mark Baker to create the agricultural training company, Stateline Farm Rescue.

“Stateline Farm Rescue actually became a dream of mine because of an accident in our family that was a death,” said Baker, “the fire department showed up I had no clue, and from that day forward, I knew we could do better.”

Last year, Baker provided training on emergencies involving grain bins. EMS director of Colona fire, Kait Meeker, helped bring him back to Colona this year.

“A lot of these volunteer firefighters are farmers,” said Meeker, “and the people that they’re going to be helping are their neighbors.”