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Firefighters shocked: Ice bucket challenge sends electrocuted firefighters to ER

The ice bucket challenge
Wikimedia Commons

Firefighters in Kentucky received a shock when assisting with a charity-raising ice bucket challenge – not from the bucket of ultra-iced water, but from nearby electrical lines that energized a ladder truck and electrocuted four members of the Campbellsville fire brigade.

Writes Fox News: “A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college students who were taking part in an ‘ice bucket challenge.’ 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 energize the ladder truck, shocking the firefighters.”

Two firefighters that were in the raised ladder’s bucket, tasked with dumping the ice on students who had volunteered from Campbellsville University's marching band, were injured – one critically – and are currently being treated in a hospital burn unit. Two other firefighters were treated and released. No students were injured.

University nursing student Julie Smith said that students who had witnessed the incident felt guilty; although they were there to raise money for ALS research, “they are taking it really hard,” Smith said. “It's tragic, I feel for all the band members who were still there when it happened, that they had to see that.”

Critically injured with severe burns was 41-year-old Tony Grider, a 16-year firefighter. Also being treated is 22-year-old Simon A. Quinn.

Power was knocked out to approximately 4,500 customers. Thursday evening, a crowd of students had gathered at the campus to hold a prayer vigil for the injured men.

“A number of our students, of course, the entire marching band, witnessed the event and so we’re concerned about them and the tragedy of this accident,” university president Michael Carter said.

The Ice Bucket Challenge – sweeping the nation and on social media – has raised over $50 million thus far in research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig's Disease.”

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