VFD given Wall of Life device
By Reggie Ponder
Thursday, March 14, 2019
SLIGO — In recognition that grain farming is an important industry in Currituck County and that every minute counts in a grain tank accident, the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee of the Currituck County Farm Bureau has donated a Wall of Life grain rescue system to the Crawford Volunteer Fire Department.
Farm Bureau representatives presented the lifesaving device to Crawford volunteers Monday evening at the department’s fire station in Sligo. The Wall of Life is available for use by the Crawford department and by other departments in Currituck and neighboring counties.
The device is valued at roughly $4,000.
Ryland Poyner, chief of the Crawford Volunteer Fire Department, accepted the device on behalf of the department from Roy Harrison, president of the Currituck County Farm Bureau, in a brief ceremony at the fire station.
Harrison explained that the device is easily transported to an accident scene and enables someone to be quickly extracted from a grain tank.
“Of course we hope that the system is never needed,” Harrison said in brief remarks at the fire station. “But we have had some grain tank-related accidents in the area and some have ended in fatalities.”
Harrison said he was aware of more than 10 farmer-owned grain tanks within a five-mile radius of the fire station and knows there are many more in the general area.
The Currituck County Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Committee also plans to help set up a live training event with the device in the near future.
Poyner expressed appreciation for the donation.
“For a small rural volunteer fire department it is often difficult for us to afford specialized rescue equipment such as this,” Poyner said. “Thanks to our great community partners like Currituck Farm Bureau for making a donation of this equipment. It helps our department better serve our community.”
Currituck County Farm Bureau has about 3,600 paid members and supports a number of charitable efforts including Relay for Life and Food Bank of the Albemarle.
The Crawford Volunteer Fire Department currently has about 50 active volunteers.