1. #1
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    Default Power company truck?

    Greetings All.
    Last night we was talking about power company trucks. Hereís a question we came up with. If a call came in for a man in the bucket being electrocuted how would you handle it. If he was working in the bucket, and for what ever reason was hit and down with the lines on the bucket what would you do? Would you take the chance to try and work with the truck or getting to him? Would you wait till you could get another power company person to tell you it was clear to work the scene? Any input would be great.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

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    Get the power company to clear the scene, just like if any other citizen was involved. If that is your sop
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    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    We had a similar situation a few years back, at least that's what we thought at first. I think I remember the sequence of events, first thing that happened was a pole mounted fuse feeding an underground system blew. So we got the call for an transformer explosion or something. So the man was up in the bucket with a 4' pole and a new fuse and he closed the fuse in, when he did, the top of the lightning arrester blew off and went flying through the air, the wire still attached and the wire wrapped itself across two other phases making what they call a "cross phase" short which was very impressive especially considering this happened on one of the highest current portions of the line protected only by the recloser at the substation itself, so a blinding flash occurred and then the protection opened up. The power man hung there for an instant making us think he was dead but in reality he was only surprised. Also it was dark at this time.

    Anyway, after that happened he came down, still did not see exactly what had happened, since it was still dark and hard to see in that mess of wires the one that was out of place, once the sun came up it became obvious.

    So anyway to answer the question, if he was still actively being electrocuted when we got there he would have been dead a long time ago, chances are that the recloser or fuses opened on the first fault though but if it's fuses it could be that only one fuse opened, leaving the other wire hot, if it's a recloser it could close back in at any minute, so in other words "if it's not grounded it's not dead." We would wait for the power company to come and clear the line also. Though they don't have red lights and sirens they are used to emergency response and chances are they would make double time if one of their guys was on the line.

    Birken

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    If the guy in the bucket has been electrocuted.. he's already gone. Attempting a rescue would just create more victims.

    Cordon off the area, let the power company shut down the power, then do a body removal.
    ‎"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."
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    You can't safely assume that, even with high voltage power. I have seen documentation of several cases where people came into contact with energized lines and survived. Similar to being struck by lightning. In fact one case was in a national fire or EMS mag as I recall. I might even be able to find the article.

    I am not advocating any irresponsible actions here but electrocutions need to be treated as a rescue until proven otherwise. Nevertheless the power company needs to be the ones to take the first steps here in any case.

    Birken

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    I responded to just such an incident about two years ago. When we arrived, the utility company already had the patient on the ground. If they had not done so before our arrival, we would have had them do it, perhaps with a FF/medic in the bucket as well, but only AFTER the power to the site was verified as off.

    The lineman we treated came in contact with (if I recall correctly) a 7200 V line. When we arrived he was unresponsive and badly burned on his upper torso and arms. He is alive and well today, but has some lingering complications and may still lose some fingers. In short - there can be survivors, but even the best outcomes aren't always very pretty.

    Our local utility companies are very helpful when it comes to providing training and answering questions. It would be well worth your time to contact your utility providers and go over some scenarios with them.
    ullrichk
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    Another thing to look at is many electrical companies will train their own people in elevated rescue, especially the transmission line crews. Attempt NOTHING until power is killed. Again, generally they may rescue their own, so discuss with the Man In Charge what he would like done.
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    I agree guys,

    No attempts should be made to even touch the power truck until the power is off and confirmed off. It sucks to be the guy making that call, but to attempt a rescue is almost suicide.
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

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    As much as it sucks, it doesn't matter that it is a power company truck and a utility worker in the truck. It's a motor vehicle and a person with a live power line on them. Period. Even if you think it shut itself off... automatic reclosers are called automatic reclosers for a reason. They automaticly reclose, which means re-engergize.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I don't mean this to sound sarcastic but it probably will.

    Lets reword your question, if a trained experieced electrical worker has made some kind of catastrophic error should a relatively untrained rescuer try to fix it.

    I took a pilot IFSTA class on responding to utility emergencies (gas / electric)about 2 years ago, I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about these responses but that class showed me I know very little, utility workers get a large amount of training with these hazards and also have special equipment to work around high voltage. In my opinion a firefighter trying to get involved in a rescue involving high voltage is about as appropriate as a single role medic making a rescue of a firefighter in a structure fire.

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    Thanks everyone. That was what most of us came up with. There is no point in doing anything with out the Power Company giving an all clear. We did make contact in they will be coming in the month to do a class for us. Itís been may at least 7 years since they have been in. Scary part of this, there building is about quarter mile from our new one. Has worked well for us to, have been couple times in the day time when our EMS first responder unit is responding to a structure fire, mva or anything else we may need them we can stop and tell them. Didnít want to make you guys jealous, most of the time we have power company on scene in under 15 minutes lol.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    If the guy in the bucket has been electrocuted.. he's already gone. Attempting a rescue would just create more victims.

    Cordon off the area, let the power company shut down the power, then do a body removal.

    I agree.....There is already one fatality at this scene let's not make anymore.

    Once the power company cuts the juice, and the body is removed to the ground have ALS perform the pronouncement and place your-self back in service. The scene can be secured by the PD and Medical Examiner can transport.

    On the Slight chance that the victim is viable when you arrive we can do nothing until the victim is removed from the dangerous environment thus requiring the securing of the power by the electric company before any rescue is attempted. This means assessing the situation, notifying the power company, awaiting a response, {In a Rural area you're basically screwed} securing the power, making patient access, rapid intervention, and transport.

    In the end what have we accomplished except for perserving a vegatable ? The incident posted by ULLRICHK is great and I'm glad to hear that the worker involved lived to tell his tale but I wouldn't count on that being the norm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    If the guy in the bucket has been electrocuted.. he's already gone. Attempting a rescue would just create more victims.

    Cordon off the area, let the power company shut down the power, then do a body removal.

    As a former high voltage lineman, the good Captain has given the best advice possible for you in this circumstance.
    [FONT=Times New Roman]Douglas R. Patton
    IACOJ
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    I am now a former Chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone.
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    Default power company truck

    speaking form both sides here - FF and power company worker -

    rule from FF - do not enter hot zone until confirmed power off
    rule from power company - almost the same - assume power is on and system is alive - wait until shutdown is confirmed.

    this is a difficult choice - but if the line is down and alive, depending on voltage and it could start to kick and then more people run the risl on getting zapped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    If the guy in the bucket has been electrocuted.. he's already gone. Attempting a rescue would just create more victims.

    Cordon off the area, let the power company shut down the power, then do a body removal.
    I havent read all the replies ..............but this sounds like the best advice so far and the answer I would choose.
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    On any lineman bucket I'm aware of the upper section of the boom and the bucket are electrically non conductive(fibreglass or equivalent).So to get "electrocuted"you'd have to have a feed and a neutral or a feed and a ground in the bucket with you.Speaking only for our agency,we're not equipped to handle Hi voltage emergencies.Cut the grid or wait for the power company. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101
    On any lineman bucket I'm aware of the upper section of the boom and the bucket are electrically non conductive(fibreglass or equivalent).So to get "electrocuted"you'd have to have a feed and a neutral or a feed and a ground in the bucket with you.Speaking only for our agency,we're not equipped to handle Hi voltage emergencies.Cut the grid or wait for the power company. T.C.
    There are just too many varables involved with a lineman working in a bucket. First of all not all buckets are insulated. The scope of work could be anything from inspection to live line grid work (bird on the wire, the lineman actually allows hisself to be at the same potential as the line)). It doesn't always require that a "hot" phase to come in contact with ground or neutral for an eltrocution to occur, all distribution lines have three phases and they don't play well with each other. A phase to phase mishap or event will cause such a tremenous arc accompanied by a blast that will involve all three phases: ie: Phase(7200vac to phase7200vac to phase7200vac and eventually to ground).quite a show! Distribution poles will normally have Primary lines and secondaty lines, approaching them without clearance from the local utilty is insane. All lineman are trainied in pole top and bucket rescues and linemen performing hazardous line duties seldom work alone. They will be your on scene experts.

    As a previous poster also stated "lines are not considered dead unless grounded" this is very true in that for example a 138,000 vac line can induce voltage into an unenergized line that is in close proximity.

    You ever wonder why during a lightning storm your power will dip or go out a few times before stays out ? A tree branch blown across phases will inniatually blow a fused cutout or breaker these are designed to autmatically reclose or reload to prevent power outages, so inniatally a line could be dead and then autmatically renergize (remember this one for autos vrs poles.)

    Our department invites in our local utilty(NIPSCO) every year for a very eye opening class and demonstration. Contact yours I'm sure they would be glad to help out and be able to fully anwser your questions as to any scenerio you can dream up.
    [FONT=Times New Roman]Douglas R. Patton
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    Great post Chief!
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
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