Kentucky Firefighter Injured from Electric Power Line Arcing During Ice Bucket Challenge Dies

A Kentucky firefighter injured by arcing from a power line in an “ice bucket challenge” died today, one month after a power line shocked him and another firefighter when the ladder tower bucket came too close to power lines.

Campbellsville Fire Chief Kyle Smith reported that 41-year-old Tony Grider died Saturday, September 20, 2014. Grider was a fire captain with the Campbellsville Fire Department. He and 22-year-old firefighter Simon Quinn were in the fire truck’s tower ladder platform “bucket” when it got too close to a power line. The accident occurred after the crew dumped water on Campbellsville University’s marching band in the charity stunt to raise awareness for the disease ALS.

Quinn was released from the hospital Sept. 15, 2014.

Two other firefighters were also injured in the accident, but were released from the hospital.

Two Taylor County firefighters that were seriously injured from an electric shock Thursday, August 21, 2014 while on an assignment to help the Campbellsville University band conduct an ALS ice bucket challenge.

The firefighters were moving the apparatus into transport mode or lowering the bucket after the event when an electric power arc occurred with nearby power lines that struck the bucket or firefighters Tony Grider and Alex Quinn directly. The ladder apparatus did not come in direct contact with the power lines. Two other firefighters, Steve Marrs, 37, and Alex Johnson, 28, were able to bring the apparatus to the ground. Marrs has been a firefighter for 11 years, Johnson for three years.

High voltage lines can cause an electric arc to jump a certain distance via an electric arc to another object or person, which in this case was electricity flowing through air. Air is normally not very conductive, but if the voltage is high enough or humidity conditions are right, an arc will occur.

Campbellsville University, a private college, is a Christian institution that has about 3,600 students, according to its website. It is about 65 miles south of Louisville.

Video shows position of fire department tower ladder truck near power lines where at least three firefighters were injured in Kentucky while helping band members conduct an ALS ice bucket challenge on the campus of Campbellsville University.


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