Pretty much everyone agreed the hope is a new piece of equipment donated to the North Iredell Rescue Squad will never be needed.

But the likelihood is it will, and that’s why Iredell County Farm Bureau paid for the Great Wall of Rescue — a device to assist emergency personnel in extricating people trapped in grain silos.

“We hope they never have to use it,” said Jimmy Howard, Iredell County Farm Bureau president.

Howard said the rescue squad approached Farm Bureau representatives and asked for assistance in buying it.

“We felt it was a worthwhile investment,” Howard said.

On Thursday evening, Farm Bureau board members and others got a chance to see the Great Wall of Rescue, and hear about how it will be used from NIRS Chief David Cook.

Cook explained that the cylindrical Great Wall of Rescue is designed to be inserted into the grain which is then removed from around the victim to relieve pressure.

Cook said that while grain rescues are rare, due to the large agriculture industry served by North Iredell, the likelihood is it will be needed. He told the Farm Bureau representatives about several grain rescues the squad has undertaken over the years and how this device will aid in freeing someone.

Even with the proper equipment, Cook said, rescuing someone trapped in grain is not an easy task. “It’s not a quick job,” he said.

However, the device will lessen the time considerably, Cook said.

Prior to North Iredell obtaining this piece of equipment, the nearest one available for Iredell County was in Yadkinville. Courtney Fire Department has one and has brought it to assist on rescues in North Iredell’s district, Cook said.

Cook said the Great Wall of Rescue will not be limited to use in North Iredell’s territory. He plans to set up training for any first responder in the county that would like to learn how to use it. And, if it is needed in another area, Cook said, they will bring it to the scene.

It is lightweight and easy to assemble, he said.

He said the decision to ask Farm Bureau to fund the purchase and to get it to Iredell County is in an effort to be prepared.

“We want to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said.

Farm Bureau and North Iredell Rescue board member Richard Renegar, who runs a farm, said he knows this piece of equipment will get use. “Stuff like this happens,” he said.

He expressed appreciation to Farm Bureau and the squad members.

“Thank you for all your do,” he said.

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