Texas Agriculture September 18, 2015 : Page 6

Saving Lives, One Tube at a Time By Jessica Domel Field Editor Six months ago, firefighters in Lamar County worked for 20 hours to save the life of a young man trapped in a grain silo. Just weeks ago, the family of the young man who died that day gathered together with the area firemen to re-member his life and to hopefully prevent a death like his in the future. Paul Chelius was only 32 when he died. His mother, Joan Moore, has worked with the Lamar County Farm Bureau, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office in their area, family and friends to raise over $8,000 to buy rescue tubes and augers for local fire departments. “We wanted Paul’s passing to mean something,” Moore said. “This is a way for Paul’s memory to go on forever. It’s important that another mom, another wife, another child doesn’t have to lose their husband, their dad, their son when possibly they could be helped.” The fire departments on scene the night Paul died did not have a rescue tube available to them. It’s unclear whether or not having that equipment available would have meant the difference between life and death that day. “At least now, if it ever happens again, our firemen, our rescue teams, they have the opportunity to do that. They have a chance,” Moore said. “We didn’t have a chance then.” Not only did the group purchase a rescue tube and auger for the Paris Fire Department. They also hosted a training day, complete with grain safety workshops, discussion on potential dangers working in a grain bin and an outdoor demonstration of how the rescue tube works in a bin. The idea was the brainchild of Lamar County Farm Bureau volunteer Paul Bayer and his wife, Liz. “For $4,000, we can save a life,” Bayer said. “We hope we never need it. We hope with this training, it will bypass the need for it.” Although the group has already purchased one tube, their hope is to be able to purchase tubes and grain bin rescue equipment for fire departments throughout the area so every department has access to one when they need it. “Nobody deserves to go through what we’ve been through. It actually happens more than you think. We don’t hear about it a lot. If it saves one person, then it’s worth it,” Misty Chelius, widow of Paul Chelius, said. The pain of the Chelius and Moore family’s loss is still fresh. But they hope that through all this, they can pre-vent another family from feeling that anguish. “We don’t think about the safety precautions and wear-ing a breather or a harness. It never crosses your mind that you can walk into a silo and not come out,” Misty Chelius said. Lamar County Farm Bureau and others are still work-ing to raise additional funds for more equipment. Donations to their cause can be mailed to the Guar-antee Bond Bank on Lamar Avenue in Paris or made on YouCaring.com by searching for the “Paul Chelius Memo-rial Rescue Tube Fund.” There are many rural communities across Texas with grain bins and silos. Bayer notes that other county Farm Bureaus can do what they did and hopefully help save lives. “Do it before you have to do it,” Bayer said. “We never know when we’re going to need it.” Lamar County Farm Bureau hosted a grain bin entrapment training to help local fire departments... S EPTEMBER 18 , 2015 Paris firefighters step into a grain bin filled with corn to demonstrate how their newly purchased rescue tube can help save lives. The tube, which comes in pieces, is put together around a victim to stabilize the grain. An auger is used to remove the grain so the victim may be freed. 6

Saving Lives, One Tube at a Time

Jessica Domel

Lamar County Farm Bureau hosted a grain bin entrapment training to help local fire departments...

Six months ago, firefighters in Lamar County worked for 20 hours to save the life of a young man trapped in a grain silo.

Just weeks ago, the family of the young man who died that day gathered together with the area firemen to remember his life and to hopefully prevent a death like his in the future.

Paul Chelius was only 32 when he died.

His mother, Joan Moore, has worked with the Lamar County Farm Bureau, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office in their area, family and friends to raise over $8,000 to buy rescue tubes and augers for local fire departments.

“We wanted Paul’s passing to mean something,” Moore said. “This is a way for Paul’s memory to go on forever. It’s important that another mom, another wife, another child doesn’t have to lose their husband, their dad, their son when possibly they could be helped.”

The fire departments on scene the night Paul died did not have a rescue tube available to them. It’s unclear whether or not having that equipment available would have meant the difference between life and death that day.

“At least now, if it ever happens again, our firemen, our rescue teams, they have the opportunity to do that. They have a chance,” Moore said. “We didn’t have a chance then.”

Not only did the group purchase a rescue tube and auger for the Paris Fire Department. They also hosted a training day, complete with grain safety workshops, discussion on potential dangers working in a grain bin and an outdoor demonstration of how the rescue tube works in a bin.

The idea was the brainchild of Lamar County Farm Bureau volunteer Paul Bayer and his wife, Liz.

“For $4,000, we can save a life,” Bayer said. “We hope we never need it. We hope with this training, it will bypass the need for it.”

Although the group has already purchased one tube, their hope is to be able to purchase tubes and grain bin rescue equipment for fire departments throughout the area so every department has access to one when they need it.

“Nobody deserves to go through what we’ve been through. It actually happens more than you think. We don’t hear about it a lot. If it saves one person, then it’s worth it,” Misty Chelius, widow of Paul Chelius, said.

The pain of the Chelius and Moore family’s loss is still fresh. But they hope that through all this, they can prevent another family from feeling that anguish.

“We don’t think about the safety precautions and wearing a breather or a harness. It never crosses your mind that you can walk into a silo and not come out,” Misty Chelius said.

Lamar County Farm Bureau and others are still working to raise additional funds for more equipment.

Donations to their cause can be mailed to the Guarantee Bond Bank on Lamar Avenue in Paris or made on YouCaring.com by searching for the “Paul Chelius Memorial Rescue Tube Fund.”

There are many rural communities across Texas with grain bins and silos. Bayer notes that other county Farm Bureaus can do what they did and hopefully help save lives.

“Do it before you have to do it,” Bayer said. “We never know when we’re going to need it.”

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Saving+Lives%2C+One+Tube+at+a+Time/2271155/272999/article.html.

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