GCAP attended one of the largest commercial and industrial HVACR expos in the country this last week in Florida. This included over 2,000 vendors and over 60,000 participants.
This was a great event, and was amazing to see all the new technology available for the industry today.
This year, Craig Boot is applying his friend Paul Vande Noord’s anhydrous. Vande Noord, 71, of Pella, is still recovering from severe eye injuries he sustained last April when he was sprayed with anhydrous.
The incident occurred while he was replacing a bolt that was missing from the breakaway bracket of a rented toolbar.
“We’d just started running (anhydrous) that day,” Vande Noord said. “When I was going over everything, I noticed a hose on the ground. Then, I saw the bolt was gone that connected the right quick connect coupler bracket to the tool bar swivel bracket.”
As he lifted the hose to put the bolt in the brackets at eye level, the coupler sections separated, spraying both his eyes with anhydrous.
“It knocked me down to the front wheel of the tank rig,” Vande Noord said. “My eyes were burning; my eyelids were frozen shut; I couldn’t see. I felt my way back to the emergency water supply on the nurse tank and pulled on the hose, but it cracked and broke. There was no water in it.”
Vande Noord managed to make it back to his pickup where he had a half bottle of water left over from lunch. He poured it in his eyes and drove himself a half-mile to a neighbor’s, feeling his way along a windrow left by the road grader.
He estimates a critical 15 minutes had elapsed in the time it took to get to the neighbor’s before they could start flushing his eyes. His neighbor drove him to the Pella ER.
Vande Noord described the pain: “My foot was crushed in an accident in 2005. That pain didn’t even compare to the burning pain in my eyes.”
He spent a week at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
“I wasn’t able to open my eyes for a month and a half, . . . but we had to open them several times a day to put medicine in them,” he said. His wife, June, was at his side continually for two months.
A year later, he has not regained full vision.
“I’ve only recently been able to see well enough to start working in my shop,” he said. “My eyes still bother me a lot and I can’t take sunlight, dust, chemicals or wind. It bothers me to drive. But I had a good nurse,” he nodded toward June.
“I know I was lucky. I could have been killed,” he said, referring to the “accident near Pilot Mound.”
Mike Shaw, 58, of Ogden, survived the anhydrous release that killed his father in that accident.
In October 2011, he and his dad, Dick, were putting anhydrous on rented ground near Pilot Mound.
Dick got started early on Oct. 29, pulling tandem 1,000-gallon tanks while Mike went to town to get another tank.
“I was on my way back to the field with the tank, and I could see the cloud from a mile away,” Shaw said. He tried to radio his dad but couldn’t get any answer. Shaw called 911 and family members.
Upon arriving at the field, he drove partway into the cloud to locate the tractor. Even inside the truck, the vapor was noxious, and he had to back out.
He parked, turned up the radio and gulped water before going about 35 yards into the cloud, eventually finding the back tire of the anhydrous rig. He felt his way to the shut-off valve on one tank, stumbled out toward the truck radio, and then went back a second time to close the shut-off valve on the second tank.
His third and fourth attempts were to move the still-running tractor clear from the cloud and closer to where firefighters and emergency responders had gathered along the road a half-mile away. His dad was unresponsive.
Mike recounted how he felt unable to breathe and was completely contaminated with anhydrous. His lungs were burning and his skin felt like it was freezing.
Mike was airlifted to Des Moines. He learned two of the paramedics who treated him had also been admitted with anhydrous injuries from exposure to his own clothing and skin.
“My doctor told me, ‘You probably shouldn’t be here, and none of us can explain it,’ ” he said, referring to surviving the release that fatally injured his dad.
Like Paul Vande Noord, Mike Shaw avoids anhydrous exposure and hires his application done now. Both farmers are emphatic about anhydrous safety.
“People always need to be aware of the wind direction and stay upwind in the event of a release,” Shaw said. “You have to think ahead for your plan of escape if a release would occur.”
“Even if you’re doing simple maintenance, make sure to wear protective equipment and have a water supply with you,” Vande Noord added.
Author: Stephanie Leonard, The University of Iowa
Photo courtesy: Stephanie Leonard, The University of Iowa
Credit: This article was originally published in the April 11, 2015 issue of Iowa Farmer Today.
This last week GCAP went to the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle Washington. We had a great time and saw many friends. This expo is the largest commercial marine tradeshow on the West Coast, serving commercial mariners from Alaska to California.
A pair of toxic anhydrous ammonia leaks caused Interstate 90 between Dexter and Elkton to be shut down for hours while a cloud of the chemical moved through. There were no injuries, the fire department reports.
This morning we had the privilege of unloading our two new Vilter Single Screws for the new engine room. These are the first single screws at GCAP and are excited to showcase these machines. It has been a pleasure working with Vilter and especially want to thank Sam Gladis.
The Vilter Single Screw compressor is a rotary, positive displacement compressor which incorporates a main screw and two gaterotors. Compression of the gas is accomplished by the engagement of the two gaterotors with the helical grooves in the main screw. The drive shaft imparts rotary motion to the main screw which in turn drives the intermeshed gaterotors.
Look what just arrived at GCAP! We are proud to showcase this great compressor package at our school. Two compressor packages sitting on one package with common oil separator and thermosyphon oil cooling. Very impressive and look forward to firing these up. We call this twins within twins.
BITZER’s trademark is a passion for refrigeration and air conditioning technology. With dedication and skill, we continuously work on making solutions better and more efficient. That’s because your desires and requirements are very important to us. We use our expertise and focus our efforts on pushing back the boundaries of what’s technologically possible. Our aim is to ensure the perfect temperature and the ideal climate for our customers everywhere and at all times.
Three area women have been named the first recipients of the Ronnie Peek Memorial Scholarship funded by the Garden City Ammonia Program (GCAP) and presented by the Western Kansas Community Foundation.
The scholarship fund, named in memory of 16-year Garden City Fire Department veteran Ronnie Peek who died during training exercises in January 2015, was established by Randy and Rachel Williams and their son Jeremy Williams to honor Finney County first responders who provide for public safety. The fund provides three $1,000 scholarships for the children and stepchildren of Garden City Fire Department, Garden City Police Department and Finney County EMS employees.
Maria Klarissa Calvillo, Garden City, Abbygail Hogan, Cimarron, and Brianna Pauley, Holcomb, were each awarded $1,000 scholarships on August 14 and have the distinction of being the first recipients of the newly created scholarships.
Calvillo, a Garden City freshman at Kansas State University majoring in psychology and women’s studies, is the daughter of Garden City Senior Master Patrol Officer Gabe Calvillo. She is involved in Friends of Four Paws, K-State Dance Marathon, Hispanic American Leadership Organization, National Society of Collegiate Scholars- K-State Chapter and is a UNITY event coordinator. She maintains a 3.52 GPA.
Additionally, Calvillo is a first-generation college student and plans to complete her undergraduate degree in psychology at KSU and pursue a mater’s degree at the University of Kansas in clinical psychology. She plans to work with victims of sexual abuse.
Abbygail Hogan, daughter of Tom and Lisa Hogan, Cimarron, earned the EMS scholarship. Her father is a Finney County paramedic and her mother is a realtor with Regan & Co. with an EMT certification. She is a junior at Kansas State University, and throughout high school she was involved in 4-H and was elected to the Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Council where she served for two years. As a high school senior, she received the Key Award which is only given to the top 10 percent of 4-Hers and is based on leadership involvement along with community service.
While a student at Garden City Community College, Hogan was a student athletic trainer and tutor who later achieved Master Tutor status. She was also an active volunteer with her church playing piano and hand bells for services, teaching Sunday school and confirmation classes, visiting nursing homes, helping with election campaigns and in the local public library.
Hogan plans to major in athletic training and said she would like to work in a military setting upon completion of her certification. She plans to add EMT or paramedic training to her repertoire of skills and to eventually pursue a master’s degree.
Brianna Pauley, daughter of Katy and GCPD Sergeant Paul Pauley, Holcomb, is the third recipient of the Peek Scholarship. She plans to become a homicide detective and is beginning her studies this fall at Garden City Community College.
Pauley is active in Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Farmers of America, vocal and instrumental music, student senate, and sports including basketball, cross country, and track. During her high school studies she maintained a 3.78 GPA.
No stranger to volunteerism, Pauley has spent time on her church’s mission trips building houses for families in Mexico, helping with vacation Bible school, helping with her church’s Fixin’ and a Paintin’ work days, serving as a Salvation Army bell ringer, and served at the ABC Pregnancy Banquet for the past two years. She has been a partner with the children in Families Together and was a representative to the Lutheran Youth Fellowship of Kansas. She also works part-time at Papa Murphy’s Pizza.
Pauley’s plans after completing a criminal justice degree at GCCC are to enroll in a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree in sociology before completing her training in homicide case work.
Funding to continue the yearly awards will be provided from the proceeds gleaned from GCAP’s annual Region 7 Ammonia Safety Day held each May at Kansas City Community College. The Williamses, along with several other staff members and instructors, present refresher courses and training throughout the entire day to 350-400 participants. They provide recertification and OSHA training to groups of technicians with varied skill levels and skill sets.
The scholarships have been set up and will be managed by Western Kansas Community Foundation.
These two new machines came in today and will be part of GCAP’s new engine room for Technician 1. We are very excited to see this equipment and look forward to setting them. One is thermosyphon oil cooled, VFD and the other is liquid injection slide valve(s). Six more compressors arrive in the next 20 days. The freezers are almost done as well and starting to run piping to the engine room. Look for pictures soon.
Look at what arrived this week. These are the first 2 of 12 new compressors that will be in GCAP’s new engine room. Getting very excitided around here and would like to thank Mayekawa for their support. One of the screws is liquid injection with automatic control the other is thermosiphon.