I just learned today that a good acquaintance of mine was electrocuted last week!
He works on high voltage commercial stuff. They were working at the local ai port at the time. He was eighty feet up on a lift and fortunately he had a helper with him too. While working some distance over the eighty foot lift he was electrocuted and fell into the lift… dead.
Here’s what I learned when his wife called me this morning and upon my subsequent visit to the Rehabilitation Center this afternoon to visit my friend.
This is no young whipper-snapper careless guy. He is probably in his mid fifties. He and his helper were up in an eighty foot lift. My friend climbed even higher to make repairs to some wires. The thing is that whoever wired the pole before him had wired it improperly. The neutral wire was wired HOT! So when my friend grabbed what he thought was the neutral wire he was zapped with FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY VOLTS OF ELECTRICITY!! The jolt of electricity (of course) knocked him off the pole and he landed in the eighty foot lift… dead with a broken leg. Fortunately they were at the airport/Air Force Base. Emergency crews were on hand almost immediately. I’m told my friend was dead for nine minutes! His right hand (where he grabbed the “neutral” wire) is black with cracked skin and red meat showing through the cracks. He always wears a cowboy hat. The cowboy hat had metal studs around the band. The electricity blew out all the metal in the hat and the inside of the hat had the skin from his head stuck to it. I understand that emergency workers used the paddles on him twice to bring him back to life.
I’m told that the doctors at the hospital used some new treatment similar to when someone drowns in cold water. They kept him in a chill blanket and coma for two days to minimize brain damage. Of course he is in a wheelchair right now. He has a new cowboy hat and to be honest I’ve never seen him look so good. His color was good, he had a smile on his face he carried on a conversation and joked around that he saw neither a white lite or a red light. He also said that the only thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital three days after he went to work.
His wife told me that the only thing that seems off right now is his short term memory. Like he can’t remember things from two weeks ago. She is glad that that seems to be the worst of it.
He’s been in the hospital for almost two weeks and she just called me this morning. Can’t blame her really. Like I said in my opening comments, they are really “just” acquaintances. She called me first thing this morning asking if I had heard the news. She explained to me what happened and then asked if I could get out to clean their carpets sometime this week. You see they have four or five of those little Shitzu dogs and since she would leave the house in the mornings around eight and not return until ten that night… for a week; the doggies have left quite a mess. So Thursday morning at eight-thirty think of me… until about ten thirty or eleven.
Man can you imagine getting hit with more than enough electricity to run your house?!