Grain bin survivor credits mask for saving his life
Written by Nikki Newbrough, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
"I kind of ok' d it with myself to die," said Arick Baker, grain bin survivor.
Baker was trapped in this grain bin full of 80,000 bushels of moldy corn. He was working to unload it when a large air pocket collapsed under him.
"I was fully under for and hour and forty minutes," said Baker.
Rescue crews did everything they could to get Arick out of the grain bin, but he credits the ventilation mask he was wearing at the time of the accident.
"There was no sense of time down there so we will say maybe 10 minutes after that I realized I was still breathing and yeah that's when I realized the mask was the one that was keeping me breathing," said Baker.
Baker said he had been in grain bins a hundred times with the air pro mask, but this time he credits it for saving his life.
"It doesn't make oxygen. It just takes it and passes it though these filter and then just down in the mask so you breath clean air."
According to the company, Trend, the mask was actually made for woodworking. Baker's dad bought it for him at a farm show in Minnesota, hoping it would help with his asthma.
"I was a little embarrassed actually. I was like this is a pretty big item to go into a grain bin with. I was like my god I'm not a little child, but one of the best purchases he has ever made," said Baker.
The Bakers contacted Trend to tell them about Arick's ordeal. They were surprised to say the least.
"Certainly glad he purchased it. Glad he had it on. I don't think it was designed to save anyone's life, but it certainly did the trick for him," said Dave McCormack, Trend VP Operations.
Arick's goal now is to try to encourage others to purchase the mask.
"Maybe it will save another life and I won't be the only one that survived being fully submerged after a year or two," said Baker.
Greg Brennenman, Iowa State University Engineering Specialist, he said Arick's mask was just one small factor in surviving the accident.
He said what they recommend is to practice grain bin safety, but added that having any additional piece of equipment that could help doesn't hurt.
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