Kentucky Fire Department Fined $25K Over Electrocution LODD

The State of Kentucky has fined the Campbellsville Fire and Rescue Department $25,000 following it’s investigation into the Ice Bucket Challenge related death of Captain Tony Grider last August. The incident occurred as firefighters were assisting the Campbellsville University marching band by spraying them with water from an aerial platform as part of an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser.

The aerial device reportedly came close enough to nearby electrical wires to cause an arc. Captain Grider, 41, was electrocuted and Captain Steve Marrs, 37, firefighter Alex Johnson, 28, firefighter Simon A. Quinn, 22 were injured.

The citations were issued last week by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, Division of Occupational Safety and Health. There were seven violations in total, six of which were considered serious. Last fall, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet fined the University $7,000 because a university employee “failed to wear a body belt and lanyard” in connection with the incident. That fine was later reduced to $4000.

I have not seen the citations myself but news reports state they were for not properly training personnel on electrical hazards and failing to provide protective equipment capable of reducing the risk from electrical shocks. If that report is accurate the citations would be considered to be general duty violations. If I can obtain a copy of the citations they will be posted below.

Here is more on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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