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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SHVFD_Asst_Chief's Avatar
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    Default Working with Electricity

    A list serv that I belong to send out this picture with the following comments...that I agree with:


    While, I am not sure whether or not this firefighter was in real danger, perhaps they are trained on how to properly cut a live wire and how to properly ground their vehicle, I don't know, but I sure know that in this picture that it looks dangerous.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber SHVFD_Asst_Chief's Avatar
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    I alway have trouble with attachments. Sorry.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #3
    Forum Member Station2Capt's Avatar
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    Dear Chief,

    I am requesting a new set of "Hot Sticks" we were cutting a live electrical line today and when I made one of the cuts the wires arched and burned a big hole in the cutter tips. Thank You



    This is why I do not cut live lines I will wait till the electric Company gets there and let them do what they get paid for. If this was at night it would have been a much more impressive display of sparks and fire. Wonder why he is having to cut wires at the pole?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber TruckSkipper's Avatar
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    I hate to Monday morning quarterback anyone but form this nanosecond in time captured in a photograph it appears that this firefighter is doing something extremely unsafe and this action probably exceeds that risk benefit ratio by a very wide margin. It also looks as if he created a short between the conductors and the neutral causing the nice colorful light show.

    It seems to me that this action is no different that some untrained power company guys donning SCBA and doing a primary search.
    DKK
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    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

    Chief John W. Mittendorf-1998

  5. #5
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Darwinian to say the least...
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    I can't see enough detail, and I don't have enough knowledge to infer what might actually happening in this picure, so I'm going to reserve judgement.

    That said, there are probably locations and situations where firefighters legitimately need to cut lines. I don't really have a problem with it so long as they are adequately trained and equipped to do so (with equipment properly maintained). I do know that when I need power cut, the only tool I use is a radio. . .
    ullrichk
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  7. #7
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    I don't know the story here. I don't know why he is doing what he's doing, but I do know he shouldn't be doing it! That is NOT our job. Being a fireman is dangerous enough. We don't need to be playing lineman as well.

  8. #8
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    We have an agreement with Massachusetts Electric. We don't play with their stuff, and they do not fight our fires.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  9. #9
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Oh My God. Please tell me that photo is a fake. How did that thought ever enter that FF's mind?

    Unless you work for the power company, dont mess with electricity.

    Dave

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Random Thoughts 1 & 2:

    1. I don't have a problem with handling electricity if you're properly trained & equipped for what your doing. Our hot sticks & gloves have long been retired, but in an age we can train firefighters how to handle things like hazardous materials and propane, you can train & equip to handle electricity if you want to. But that "equip" part probably takes cooperation with your utility since you need to get the equipment, gloves, etc tested and that's easiest done putting it rotation with their stuff.

    2. In the words of Dr. Lee...something isn't right here. My first thought was he's cutting awful low on the pole -- that's the level of telephone & cable wires, maybe the electrical service wires are the second set up, maybe it's telephone I can't tell from the pic.

    PLUS...there's a wire already dropped in a position that it's got to be on or really close to that truck.

    The pic may not be faked, but it sure is a head scratcher what the situation is exactly.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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  11. #11
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Is that FF even wearing bunker pants???
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber RescueMe7's Avatar
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    That pic must be a fake. The wire that the FF is cutting is either telephone or cable TV. The electrical wires are always at the very top. I can't tell from that pic if the electrical wire is one, two, or three phase.

  13. #13
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    The person on the truck appears to have all the safety gear a lineman uses except no safety harness. I said person as they may or maynot be a firefighter. There must be some reason they are cutting the line without shutting it down. It looks like they parked really close to the line and the sparks appear to be hitting the truck. Any of those that are glowing when they hit the truck burn through the paint.

    We have 5 power company employees (soon to be 6) on our VFD. It is not uncommon for a lineman/firefighter to disconnect the power while in bunker gear. Also once when the wind was blowing 50+ mph and we were called to a grass fire started by arcing lines, the lineman that responded ahead of us, not a firefighter, requested a coat and helmet with a face shield. He was going to be showered by sparks because he had to get really close, due to the wind, to pull the fuses and ground the lines. This might be something similar.

    Like I said before they must have a good reason for doing what they are doing but it is not obvious from the picture. The only thing that I can think of is if they had to kill the power quickly to attend to a victim. Any reason other than to get to a victim would seem unsafe beyond imagination.

    Brad

  14. #14
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RescueMe7
    That pic must be a fake. The wire that the FF is cutting is either telephone or cable TV. The electrical wires are always at the very top. I can't tell from that pic if the electrical wire is one, two, or three phase.
    And you must know this because you were there and/or work for the power company that built that pole? Obviously if someone is standing on a fire truck cutting a wire from a pole, something is in general, very wrong at the scene. This includes what wires are going where and how. So, don't assume because he is at the telephone line level, that he is cutting telephone lines.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  15. #15
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    GUYS!!


    Regardless if the photo is real or fake. Firefighters have no business cutting alectrical wires or pulling meters!!!

    This is a job for the power company. Ask them, they will tell you this. I had a guy that was an electrican on his day off, tell me that he could pull a meter and never get hurt. WRONG, he did one day and got his fingers on the hot side of the meter and burnt him badly.

    If you need to shut off the electrical power, go to the electrical panel box and throw, pull all the breakers.

    There is too much danger involved by cutting live wires. What if they dropped on the arial truck? What if they did drop on this truck and Joe Smith was leaning up against the rig at the rear. WOW, what a deadly jolt he is going to get!

    How many firefighters are we going to kill or injuried to get the message across - DON'T PLAY WITH ELECTRICAL LINES!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  16. #16
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    This photo was posted in the Sept.HotShots.I am sure you couldn't get a quick response from utility companies after those hurricanes. I personaly wouldn't attempt it,but in an emergency when response from electric employees could be hours or days,something had to be done.Maybe they are trained in this or maybe they were working with utility workers.
    hotshots sept 2004

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    And now...the rest of the photos:

    http://tinyurl.com/4stvm

    I also found interesting http://www.jfrd.com/JEA%20Dials%20911.htm -- the local electrical utility used FFs to help man their call center. Does make you wonder if they have a pretty close pre-existing relationship!

    Observations/Unknowns...
    1. Looks like the wire was house service (220v) lines. Nothing to sneeze at, but not primaries either.
    2. We don't know what training/equipment maintenance they get
    3. We don't know the lay out -- perhaps this tree was blocking the access road to a significant portion of their first due. That's something to factor in if you have the training & tools to do the job, and the utility has an extended ETA.

    My department will clear trees, we don't do powerlines (don't have the tools in service anymore, and haven't had adequate training for years). But I've been to calls we've been standing by keeping the road closed that make you a little nervous 'cause you know there is several hundred residents on the other side of a blocked road, and never mind a fire but even a simple medical call there would be no way to reach them until the power company gets there to secure the power lines.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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  18. #18
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    What we do know from the rest of the pictures is the firefighter messed up by cutting that live secondary, the power wire to a building.

    He was trying to cut all 3 wires at the same time and shorted them with the bolt cutters he was using. Hopefully the fuse on the transformer blew or at the level he was cutting the line it was going to swing down against the cable TV wire , possibly energizing every TV set within miles.

    I do not know if he thought the line was dead or if he did not know better. Not a good move. It wasted the bolt cutters.

    A word of caution. Never cut an energized cable with multiple wires no matter what voltage. The wires must be separated and cut 1 at a time or you will destroy your cutting tool and maybe yourself. I am an electrician. IF SPARKS FLY - SOMETHING BAD IS HAPPENING. These pictures prove just because you have all the right tools you can still mess up with out the right knowledge. I do not know how well this firefighter was trained but something went BAD - SPARKS ARE FLYING.

    Brad

  19. #19
    Forum Member Dave1105's Avatar
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    The furthest we'll go is pull a low-voltage (IE. 240v delivery to a house) pole-fuse..... We're equipped with appropriate tools and appropriate training to do so, anything else.... Call the power co.

  20. #20
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Chief ............I accidentally soldered the ladder truck !!!!!!!!!
    Not safe or smart !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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