The Ice Bucket Challenge Just Electrocuted Four Firefighters In Kentucky
After a summer of people dumping ice water over their heads, it was inevitable that somebody would get hurt. Four firefighters were injured during an Ice Bucket Challenge attempt on Thursday while helping a college marching band participate in the activity at Campbellsville University in Kentucky. The firefighters were electrocuted by a nearby power line after dumping water onto the students, and two were rushed to the burn unit with serious injuries. In light of this disastrous incident — coupled with recent criticisms that the challenge could be contributing to California's drought — perhaps it's time to stop with the ice bucket part.
So, what exactly happened? Well, when a large group of people take on the Ice Bucket Challenge, a large amount of water is needed, so the Campbellsville Fire and Rescue department lent their equipment and services to help the Campbellsville University marching band complete the task. In place of a regular bucket, the firefighters used the bucket on their firetruck and sprayed the students with their hose. However, as the firefighters were moving their ladder back in place after the challenge, they came close enough to a power line to be electrocuted.
According to Campbellsville Police Chief Tim Hazlette, two men, Capt. Steve Marrs, 37, and Alex Johnson, 28, were shocked from the ground when an electric current traveled down the extended ladder. They were rushed to Taylor Regional Hospital and Marrs was released. The other two, Capt. Tony Grider, 41, and firefighter Simon Quinn, 22, received more serious injuries when they were electrocuted from the truck's bucket. Both were taken to the University of Louisville Medical Center Burn Unit, where Grider, a 16-year veteran of the department, is in critical condition.
While one must concede that the Ice Bucket Challenge has been instrumental in raising unprecedented amounts of money for ALS research — a worthy cause, without question — you could argue whether the ice bucket part is the best, or only, way to support the cause.
After all, California is experiencing its third consecutive year of crippling drought, which has drained 63 trillion gallons of water across the Western U.S. in the last year and a half alone. There, the Ice Bucket Challenge has been lambasted as a frivolous and unnecessary waste of water. It's estimated to have used around 5 or 6 million gallons of water thus far. That's a slap in the face for a state of people who are now being monitored by water-use inspectors and unable to use public bathrooms in certain places.
Combine this with the recent incident in Campbellsville, and it's enough to make you wonder: Is it time to retire the Ice Bucket Challenge? That is, by no means, synonymous with ending the ALS fight. Let's just explore other options. We can do what some brave people have done — actually talking about the disease instead — or we can invent a plethora of challenges that don't use water (like, how about running through an obstacle course instead?). Or, here's a novel idea: Why not just donate to the ALS Association? No challenges or tricks or circus acts necessary.
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