FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — State regulators have fined a Kentucky fire department $25,000 for improper training and equipment after a firefighter was killed and three others hurt while the crew tried to help a college marching band participate in the ice bucket challenge.
Tony Grider, 41, died and three other Campbellsville firefighters were critically injured after the fire truck ladder they were on came too close to a power line after they sprayed the Campbellsville University marching band with water on Aug. 21.
The incident happened during the height of the ice bucket challenge phenomenon, in which people posted videos of themselves doused with cold water on social media websites and challenged their friends to do the same in order to raise awareness for and encourage donations to ALS research.
After an investigation, the Kentucky Office of Occupational Safety and Health found seven safety violations, six of them rated “serious” because they could result in injury or death.
Officials said the fire department did not make sure firefighters were wearing special helmets designed to protect against electric shock. Officials also said the department did not train firefighters about how far to stay away from live power lines.
Officials say the ladder never touched the power line, but the line carried such a high voltage it was able to energize the ladder truck just by being too close to it.
State regulators issued the citation last week. The fire department has until Feb. 2 to contest them. Campbellsville Fire Chief Kyle Smith declined to comment, referring questions to city attorney John Miller.
Miller did not immediately return a phone call from the Associated Press.
This is the second fine the state has issued in this incident.
Regulators fined Campbellsville University $4,000 because someone filming the ice bucket challenge from a raised platform was not wearing a safety harness.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission, which regulates power companies, said the utility line was operated within safety standards and did not pursue penalties.
Campbellsville University is a private, Christian institution that has about 3,600 students located 65 miles south of Louisville.