by , on November 16, 2009

This FOX station reports that fire fighters could move downed power lines in emergencies IF they had rubber gloves on the trucks. There is a LOT more than rubber gloves needed for firefighters to move downed powerlines. The story isn’t entirely inaccurate. Why not suggest hot sticks on each truck rather than just rubber gloves? What about step potential and a lot of other training most fire fighters would need to move downed powerlines safety. Our utility had 3 fire fighters die once with several other who came up on a scene of a car wreck trying to “save” someone in a car with powerlines on it.

Fire fighters aren’t “qualified persons” by the OSHA 1910.269 standard for high voltage and should NOT move downed powerlines. Not that some couldn’t be trained to do so but I’m not a big fan of this practice. The story makes the fire department sound cheap. How about having the news reporters move the powerlines (I don’t think so)? Are they too cheap to bring their rubber gloves and keep them tested and know when they have step potental and etc? The story sounds like everyone has part of the story but this one isn’t fair and balanced. El Paso Electric is right. This is job for the utility.

Here is the link to the story.

Please comment if you agree, disagree or have thoughts.

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Hugh Hoagland
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Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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