Christianson Grain Vac Featured on KSTP News

HA 404 Handlair grain vac for rescueOur HA404 (Handlair® Grain Vac) was featured by KSTP Channel 5 in a recent story about grain bin safety and new life-saving equipment purchased by the Gibbon Fire Department. The HA404 is a 35hp self-powered grain vac capable of moving more than 1,000 bu/hr and is mounted on a trailer (pictured). We  are proud to have been a part of this project, as Minnesota places third nationwide in grain bin incidents each year. 

In case you missed the new segment when it aired, you can watch it here. You can read the story from the Gibbon Fire Department in its entirety below.

Gibbon Fire Department Designs First-of-its-kind Rural Rescue Response Trailer

More than 130 community members, area firefighters, and members of the press gathered in Gibbon to learn about the Rural Rescue Response (R3) Trailer — the newest addition to the Gibbon Fire Department fleet.

The R3 is a concept that became reality as a result of the Gibbon Fire Department (GFD) conducting Minnesota’s only successful grain bin rescue in 2019. “The R3 started as a wild idea,” says firefighter Nate Firle. “After the rescue, we sat down as a department and posed the question, ‘If we had the funding, what would we do or build to increase our success rate even more?’ And the R3 is the answer we came up with.”

The custom-built trailer is 16-feet long and equipped with a 35hp self-powered grain vac capable of moving more than 1,000 bu/hr. It also has compartment space for grain bin rescue equipment, lifting bags, and confined space, stabilization, and other tools instrumental in conducting successful rural rescues.

Knowing the process would be a long one, the department formed a committee to keep the project moving. Led by Firle, the committee also consists of Assistant Chief Jason Rettig, and firefighters Andrea Wortz and James Theis. They began by drafting a design and partnering with Christianson Systems of Blomkest, Minn., and Alum Line of Cresco, Iowa, to finalize the prototype and lock down a cost.

In February 2022, fundraising began. “We didn’t want to put the pressure on taxpayers to pay for this,” says Firle. “So, the next nine months were spent seeking donations from ag-related and local businesses.” The response was positively overwhelming. More than $75,000 in donations were received in just three months – and that total continues to climb. Now at $82,000 raised, the once “wild idea” became reality when the order was placed on July 11, 2022.

The GFD is assembling a focused response team to specialize in operating the R3 and will hold training sessions for the entire department as well as the nine neighboring communities they serve mutual aid for. More information on the R3 can be found on YouTube under the Gibbon Fire and Rescue channel, or by calling 320-979-4835.

If you have questions or want more information about our HA404 grain vac or how we can help with your next project, contact our sales team at [email protected] or 800-328-8896.

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