Monthly Archives: July 2012

Rhode Island Passes Contact Voltage Legislation

PROVIDENCE, RI  (June 7, 2012) — Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law legislation mandating the detection and remediation of faults in the underground power delivery system in all areas within the state of Rhode Island where there are underground cables.  In the above image, Governor Chafee is flanked by the bill’s sponsors: Senator Rhoda Perry and Representative Michael Tarro.

The law calls for the identification of Contact Voltage Risk Zones and the immediate establishment of a plan to scan these areas within defined time limits using the best available technology.  The enactment of this law was a direct result of the death, by contact voltage, of a puppy in the Wayland Square shopping district of Providence in the aftermath of a series of severe winter snowfalls.  The conditions of snow, ice, slush and salt created the perfect storm of conditions to make lethal the compromised cable that ran under the sidewalk and street.   Luna died simply walking on asphalt and herein lies an element key to the wisdom of the Rhode Island legislators.  The language of this bill recognized that contact voltage is not limited to assets owned by a utility company.  Rather, this bill  recognizes that ALL objects in the vicinity of a damaged cable can become energized.  Therefore, the law calls for the testing, by optimal means, of ALL objects within the Contact Voltage Risk Zones that might become energized by a utility asset OR a privately owned piece of equipment.  Thus, going forward, sidewalks, storm drains, fences, mailboxes and handrails  – as well as –utility poles and manhole covers must be tested.

This bill had the support of Anthony (Bubba) and Nancy Green who came to RI and testified in its favor at both the House and Senate committee meetings on the legislation.  The Green’s lost their 14 year old daughter to contact voltage in 2006 when she touched a wire fence in a city park in Baltimore, Maryland.  The RIVMA and the RISPCA also testified in favor of this legislation.

We applaud the far sighted action of the RI Legislature and the Governor for working proactively to safeguard visitors to the Ocean State, citizens of Rhode Island and  their beloved pets.

Rescuer describes electric current that killed boy

Grainger County, Tn – One child has died and another is in critical condition following a electrocution incident Wednesday afternoon on Cherokee Lake in Grainger County.

The boy who died was 10 years old, and the boy who was resuscitated is 11, TWRA officials said.

Layel said the 11-year-old boy was transported via Lifestar to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, where he was on life support Wednesday night.

The incident happened around 2:15 p.m. on Cherokee Lake in Bean Station, at the German Creek Marina.

In all, six people were transported to the hospital, TWRA and Sheriff Layel said.  That number includes three children and three adults.

Officials say the boys were swimming between two house boats when the electrocution occurred.  When bystanders tried to rescue the boys, they were shocked as well.

Mo. siblings electrocuted at Lake of the Ozarks

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. – A girl and her brother from Ashland, Mo., were  electrocuted at the Lake of the Ozarks early Wednesday afternoon.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified them as 13-year-old Alexandra  Anderson and her 8-year-old brother Brayden

According to the Patrol, the siblings were shocked while swimming near a  private dock at the 6.5 mile marker in the Gravois Arm around 12:05 p.m.

After it was apparent the children were injured, several adults were able to  get them out of the water and started performing CPR before emergency crews  arrived. The siblings were then taken to Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach,  where they were pronounced dead.

On Wednesday night, Sgt . Paul Reinsch with the Highway Patrol said they  discovered the dock was not “ground fault detected,” which means that the  electricity from devices on the dock was able to travel into the water.

“The children screamed when the initial shock hit and when the adults dove in  (to attempt rescue) they could feel the electricity in the water,” Reinsch said.  Then the adults turned off the electricity to the dock” before pulling the  siblings out of the water and attempting CPR, Reinsch said.

He said the electricity that ultimately killed the children came from either  a boat lift on the dock or a pump used to power their water slide.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Marine Operations Division and the Division  of Drug and Crime Control were investigating, and autopsies were planned,  authorities said.

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