“….its not the door pops and the cuts that kill rescuers on the scene, its the hazards associated with the accident that causes tragedy….” Well Chief, I never thought I would have to write you about a personal close call, but I just finished the call and its eating on me mind. We were dispatched for a vehicle accident. At first it came in unknown injuries, then a police officer on scene confirming entrapment. The officer was mistaken in calling it entrapment, when it was that the vehicle had struck a utility (power) pole and had wires down around it. When I arrived on scene, all the normal precautions were taken to ensure that safe operations occurred around the power lines. We had to remove the branch of a tree to try access from the passengers side front door, then we tried access from the rear hatch (which proved more difficult then we thought.) Finally we settled on the drivers rear door. We needed to cut to remove the door. After the cutting was completed my chief handed me the o-cutters to put into staging. Here is where my mistake came in. The staging area I chose was close to the vehicle but outside the working zone, like we are taught. I set down the cutter. In the process of doing so, I realized my poor judgement in choosing a location. As I bent down to put down the cutter, my helmet was pushed back. I had come in contact with a wire still attached to the power line. I’m counting my blessings right now that the pole was broken in such a way that it must have de energized the line. My initial reaction after coming up and backing away from the line was of how stupid I was. It really kicks you in the butt to do everything according to your procedure and to almost compromise your own life by making a poor error in judgement. I’m attributing my “close call” to tunnel vision. Its very easy to be aware and navigate the hazards initially, however as time moves on and we begging to operate in our comfort zones, it gets easier to put the hazards out of our minds and focus on purely the rescue. I’m lucky, and as our crew was joking I’ve only used up one of my nine lives. I just hope I don’t need to use another one for a long time. I know its not as dramatic as the firefighters falling through floors, but I hope this can serve as a lesson for rescuers. Its not the door pops and the cuts that kill rescuers on the scene, its the hazards associated with the accident that causes tragedy.