TWO central Kentucky firefighters are still hospitalised a day after they were shocked by a power line while helping out with an ice bucket challenge.
Campbellsville Fire Capt. Tony Grider was in critical condition in the University of Louisville Medical Center’s burn unit Friday afternoon, a hospital spokesman said. Simon Quinn was in fair condition there.
Both men were on the fire truck’s ladder when it got too close to a power line after dumping water on Campbellsville University’s marching band on Thursday in the charity stunt to raise awareness for the disease ALS.
Campbellsville Fire Chief Kyle Smith told WDRB-TV on Friday that Grider suffered burns on 55 per cent of his body and was sedated.
Two other firefighters were hurt, but they are out of the hospital.
Campbellsville Police Chief Tim Hazlette said the power line was never touched Thursday morning, but it carried such a high voltage that it was able to energise the ladder truck, shocking the firefighters.
Most of the students had already left the area and no students were hurt.
University nursing student Julie Smith said she was nearby and spoke to a couple of friends who saw the firefighters being shocked and said “they are taking it really hard.”
“It’s tragic, I feel for all the band members who were still there when it happened, that they had to see that,” Smith said.
Smith later led a prayer vigil with about 100 people on the campus Thursday night.
Taylor County Judge-Executive Eddie Rogers said on Friday that the community was still reeling from the accident.
“We never know when something like this is going to happen,” he said. “Everybody’s heartbroken over it.”
Power was knocked out for about an hour to 4,500 customers, including the school, said Natasha Collins, a spokeswoman for Kentucky Utilities, which owns the line.
The ice bucket challenge has been sweeping social media websites. The ALS Association said it has raised more than $41 million.
Firefighter Keith Bricken, who has worked with Grider for about three years, said he was a tough firefighter who trained colleagues.
“He’s real outgoing. He loves to help in any way he can,” Bricken said.
Grider, 41, is a 16-year veteran of the department. Quinn, 22, is a part-time firefighter.
Also injured was Capt. Steve Marrs, 37, who has been with the department for 11 years, and Alex Johnson, 28, who has been there three years.
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.