Campbellsville Fire Department fined $25,000 over 'Ice Bucket Challenge' accident
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky workplace safety regulators have fined the Campbellsville Fire Department $25,200 for violations related to an accident that occurred last summer during an “Ice Bucket Challenge” fundraiser.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet found that the department didn't ensure that its firefighters wore protective helmets “designed to reduce electrical shock hazard” during the Aug. 21 event at Campbellsville University.
The Cabinet also cited the department for failing to see that its employees wore proper footwear to guard against electrical hazards. In addition, firefighters "were not trained and familiar with safety-related work practices, specifically safe approach distances to overhead power lines" as required by federal law, state inspectors found.
And the department was cited for failing to make sure that "unqualified persons" and vehicles kept their proper distance from "unguarded, energized overhead lines."
In all, six of the violations were deemed "serious."
The fire department was helping students raise money for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, when a lift got too close to overhead power lines and was struck by an arc of electricity. A state Public Service Commission report issued in October said the firefighters made "direct contact" with a power line. Videos of the fundraisers went viral on social media last summer.
Campbellsville Fire Capt. Tony Grider died in September from his injuries. Another firefighter was injured, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
The fire department hasn't contested the violations. Fire Chief Kyle Smith referred questions to Campbellsville City Attorney John Miller. Both men and Campbellsville mayor Tony Young declined comment to WDRB News. A state labor department cabinet spokesman could not comment beyond the wording of the violation citations made public Thursday.
In November, the state penalized Campbellsville University $7,000 after a university employee “failed to wear a body belt and lanyard” while operating an aerial lift during the "ice bucket challenge."
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