Firefighters Seriously Hurt After Ice Bucket Challenge

4 receive electric shocks; one is in critical condition

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 22, 2014 6:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – Four firefighters were hospitalized after their contribution to the Ice Bucket Challenge resulted in electric shocks. The men were participating in the challenge with the Campbellsville University band in Kentucky, CNN reports. Two firefighters, Tony Grider, 41, and Simon Quinn, 22, stood in a bucket at the top of a fire truck's ladder and sprayed band members with water. Afterward, the bucket came too close to power lines, resulting in a serious shock. Now, one of the men "is in critical condition; the other is fair," says a hospital rep.

"The first 24 to 48 hours are critical with a severe burn,” a surgeon tells WAVE. "This is a long process to get better, probably multiple operations." Another pair of firefighters, who were controlling the bucket, also received shocks via the ladder, police say. Steve Marrs, 37, and Alex Johnson, 28, were also hospitalized; Marrs has been released while Johnson is under observation. The shock occurred even though the bucket didn't touch the power line, police say. "If you get within a distance of 3 to 4 feet, the energy that surrounds the high-voltage wire will actually arc over onto another object, in this case being the personnel occupying the bucket," police chief Tim Hazlette says. One of the key figures behind the challenge—which has now helped raise more than $41 million for ALS research, CNN notes—died last week after diving off a building.

A Campbellsville Fire Department truck with the ladder extended remained at the scene on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Campbellsville, Ky.
A Campbellsville Fire Department truck with the ladder extended remained at the scene on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Campbellsville, Ky.   (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan)
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