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Re: Grim Safety Reminder

Original poster: "by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <Tesla729-at-cs-dot-com>

In a message dated 5/8/02 7:30:28 AM Pacific Daylight Time, tesla-at-pupman-dot-com 

<< All,
 I am a firefighter with the Albion-Little River VFD. Two days ago we had a 
 which is a grim reminder to those of us that work with high voltage.
 A cable installer (being VERY stupid) managed to catch the HV lines above his
 "cherry picker". When we arrived, he was still smoldering, we had to put him
 out. Literally. One of his arms was gone, just plain gone. The other was a
 stump. His genitals were a small melted lump. 40%-60% of his body had 3rd
 degree burns. In my 5 years with the FD, I have never seen anything nearly as
 horrifying. And we see stuff.
 Unbelievably, the poor bastard lived. He has a wife and 3 kids with another 
 the way.
 Anyway, it really impressed me. I can tell you that the image of this guy 
 be with me for the rest of my life, every time I am employing High Voltage.
 Sorry to inject such a downer note on the list. But it has been on my mind. 
 Regards and SAFE COILING!!!
 Jonathan Peakall  >>


Thank you for this safety reminder. I, too, am a firefighter and have been 
for over 13 1/2 years, but I have been fortunate enough not to personally
witness gross electrocution(s) YET. However, I have definitely witnessed
the awesome power of shorted primary power lines in the course af my
job. I've seen a downed, energized 13,280 volt primay line laying on a 
rain-soaked asphalt street and it resembled a giant flaming r/r flair or
blowtorch melting the asphalt and blowing a falme about 2 ft. into the air.
Another time a 13280 volt primary line fell off of the insulator and was lying
on the rain-soaked wooden cross arm of a utility pole. The pole had a 
grounded bracket holding three pole pig transformers and the entrie pole
between the point of wire contact on the cross arm and the grounded 
transformer bracket was lit up like a Christmas tree. The utility shut it 
off soon, but then when they turned it back on, it made a plasma blue
fireball about 6 to 8 ft. in daimeter with a noise like a small atomic bomb!
I suppose the short had already established a carbon path in the wood 
restoring the power basically dead shorted it. Of course, the substaion 
safety circuit breakers quickly shut the power back off, but this process
continued about two or three times (cut off and atomic bomb!)
I couldn't help but think if an unfortunate lineman had been even close to 
that power arc, just the blast in close proximity to that would have most 
likely been fatal, even without electrical contact! It definitely gave me a
renewed respect for high voltage!

Spark Safely,
David Rieben