Campbellsville (KY) FD Capt. Tony Grider, 41, remains in critical condition this morning at the University of Louisville Hospital. Firefighter Simon A. Quinn, 22, is now reported to be stable.
As you know, Captain Grider and Quinn were rushed to the hospital Thursday afternoon after being seriously injured when electricity from a high-voltage line arced onto the ladder of a fire truck they were using in a student fundraising event — a variation of the popular Ice Bucket Challenge — at Campbellsville University.
Two other firefighters — Capt. Steve Marrs, 37, and Alex Johnson, 28, — also suffered electrical shocks but were released after being treated in Campbellsville.
It happened shortly before noon yesterday, as the firefighters assisted Campbellsville University students with the event to raise research money for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Captain Grider and Quinn were in the raised tower ladder bucket, spraying cold water on members of the Campbellsville University band who had volunteered for the fundraiser. The bucket was being lowered after the event when it apparently came too near a high-power electrical line overhead. Current from the line arced, striking the bucket holding Grider and Quinn. Both men were burned.
The other two firefighters, Marrs and Johnson, suffered shocks when they took control of the ladder from below. However, they were able to lower the bucket and assist Quinn and Grider.
Allen Johnson, a former Campbellsville fire chief who also is Alex Johnson’s father, estimated that the line was carrying 69,000 volts of electricity.
The tower ladder bucket reportedly did not touch the power line- the electricity can “jump,” or arc, across open space from a high-power line and can strike another object without physical contact. The greater the voltage in the line, and the higher the humidity in the surrounding air, the farther the electricity can leap.
Several hundred people turned out Thursday night for a prayer service for the injured firefighters on the campus.
HERE is more along with photos of the scene: