Two hurt in equipment test

Published 6:00 am Friday, January 17, 2003

The Monticello Fire Chief and a firefighter equipment companyrepresentative were injured around noon Thursday during anequipment test.

Fire Chief Wayne Harrison received a back injury and minorlacerations to a leg. Michael LaGuade, a mechanic with Sunbelt FireApparatus, fractured four ribs in the incident.

Firefighter Hugh Summers said he spoke with Harrison brieflyyesterday about what happened.

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The two men were conducting an annual pump test on a groundportable deck gun at the Georgia-Pacific mill when the deck gunbroke loose, Summers said.

The deck gun uses a two and one-half inch hose and duringtesting they pump at maximum capacity, about 1,000-1,200 gallonsper minute, he said.

LaGuade was conducting the test while Harrison supported him,Summers said. Harrison saw the deck gun breaking loose, butcouldn’t act in time to stop it.

“It got loose and went to whipping around,” Summers said. “Oncethey get loose they can do a lot of damage. It got them both atabout the same time.”

Harrison was struck twice, in the back and leg, and knocked intothe G-P reservoir where the fire engine was drawing water. LaGuadewas struck in the side.

When Harrison climbed from the reservoir he knocked the truckout of gear, Summer said, which killed the pressure to thehose.