Investigation Shows Linemen Didn't Follow Procedure - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Investigation Shows Linemen Didn't Follow Procedure, Led to Firefighter Shocked

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Benton PUD says two linemen didn't follow proper procedure to disconnect a fallen powerline that shocked a firefighter in February. Benton PUD says two linemen didn't follow proper procedure to disconnect a fallen powerline that shocked a firefighter in February.

BENTON COUNTY, WA - Benton PUD says two linemen didn't follow proper procedure to disconnect a fallen powerline that shocked a firefighter in February.

The linemen told firefighters it was safe to put out the fire that the line had started in Finley along Game Farm Road. Just moments later that line shocked firefighter Ty Schoenwald.

The PUD's investigation found the workers didn't look closely enough at the power line which had recoiled to a power pole. Benton PUD suspended the linemen for a week and put them on three years of safety probation.

PUD General Manager Chad Bartram says a joint safety outreach team should create a better partnership in the future.

"Through the safety outreach team, we'll raise awareness of the kind of things that can happen if you don't follow through the steps," Bartram said.

Chief Baynes says Schoenwald has recovered enough to compete in the Firefighter Stair Climb on Sunday. He should return to work in a few weeks when a burn on his hand fully heals.

"I think it'll be a much stronger relationship now than it was before hand. And that's part of the process, we should always leave something better than we started," said Chief Grant Baynes, Benton Co. Fire District 1.

 

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