A homeowner was using a lift to do work on his house when the boom made contact with overhead power lines. By the time he was found, he was lying in the front yard and was in cardiac arrest. The boom was still touching the power lines.
Firefighters responded to the scene quickly. During their attempt to revive the homeowner, one of them stepped near one of the lift’s tires and got shocked. He then fell into another firefighter, who also received a shock. According to a captain on the sheriff’s department, the first firefighter did not touch the tire or the lift but as he stepped near it, the electricity “kind of arced over to him.”
The first firefighter went into cardiac arrest at the scene and had to receive treatment from members of his crew. They were able to find a pulse. He was taken to the hospital; his injuries are considered serious.
The second firefighter who got shocked also went to the hospital for treatment and was later released.
Unfortunately, the homeowner died from his injuries.
Moving the homeowner in this case might have been the safest course of action, but many people do not recognize the silent killer of electrical contact.
Note: Puget Sound Energy put out a safety video about what to do when and if you come across a downed power line. This is a great educational video made for the general public. While the circumstances in the video differ from the accident described in this blog, the information shared concerning electrical safety can be applied in many different situations.