How many Rescue Companies out there are trained & equiped to handle the cutting and removal of charged power lines under emergency conditions where the local power company is not immediately available?
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06-01-2000, 06:58 PM #1FREDFirehouse.com Guest
Mitigation of electrical hazzards
06-02-2000, 04:54 AM #2billyFirehouse.com Guest
One of the best tools I've found to "scan" the area for charged lines s the AC HOTSTICK from Delsar. This enables rescuers to quickly survey a large area and find charged lines, from a safe distance.
I'd prefer to allow the utility company to handle this type of situation.
06-09-2000, 10:45 PM #3Ken HanksFirehouse.com Guest
The local power company has established a priority dispatch system for electrical emergencies. It can still take a while for a response, esp. after 11PM. This was a result of a LODD in Connecticut a few years ago when a firefighter contacted a power line during a working fire.
There is more to securing a power line than just cutting the wire-example (war story) We receive a report of a wire down and burning. A block from the call, I see a line crew from CL&P (local power company) working on a pole. We stop and I tell them to follow us. They are right behind us a we get to the address. A man runs out of the "A" side of the house, barefoot, and jumps over a fence on a 3' wall to the road. He says he received an electric shock running across the lawn. The downed and burning primary wire is less than 10' feet from the "B" side of the house. He tells me that his bed-ridden mother is inside. It took the power company almost 20 minutes to secure the line.
The power company had to locate the disconnects and ground the system. They then verified the area was not electified before we entered the house. The woman was OK.
The best you can do is secure the area and wait for the power company. Try to work out a response plan with them before the call.
06-10-2000, 12:38 AM #4NCRSQ751Firehouse.com Guest
I agree. We carry hot sticks in our vehicles, and the local power company is supposed to respond on a priority basis to emergencies.
Sometimes it works, sometimes you could read a book in the time it takes..guess it depends on who's on call.
We have no safe way of 'cutting' electrical lines and none of us is trained to do such a thing.
It is not fun to sit and wait when lives may be in danger, but what good does it do to add one more to the list?
We all take chances sometimes...we'd be lieing if we said different. But playing with a live power line is outside what should get through the risk/benefit sifter. My people are worth more than that.
Captain - Forsyth Rescue
North Carolina Strike Force 1
06-10-2000, 05:41 PM #5TwostixFirehouse.com Guest
If you have a power emergency during normal working hours, have your communications center advise adjacent police jurisdictions of the situation. It is just possible that a patrol officer might have a line crew working in his area. If he can persuade them to respond to your emergency, they might get there faster than one dispatched by the power company.
Be Safe, Get Home! Twostix
06-11-2000, 07:28 AM #6DDFirehouse.com Guest
In the early eighties we made a mutual on a church fire. Linemen from the electric company disconnected the wrong primary. We were lucky that there were no injuries. I think that they were too interested in watching the fire, instead of doing thier jobs.
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