We were dispatched mutual aid to an MVA with entrapment. It was in early morning hours. Weather conditions played a factor, it was foggy and damp. On arrival we found a cargo van up against an utility pole. The pole was broken and was laying across the top of the van. The driver of the vehicle was pinned between tthe top of the door and the frame of the vehicle. The guide cable for the pole was holding the door closed. The power company was notified, rescue operations started before the power company arrived. It should be noted that the wire from the pole were less than 6 feet off the ground. I cut the guide cable and while cutting the cable I felt a vibration through the “O” cutters. The victim was extricated as the power company arrived. The power company representative told me the vibration I felt was electrical power going to ground via the guy cable. Because the guide cable was not a very good conductor of electricity, I was lucky I was not injured.
The next day, a training session, conducted by the power company was set up to discuss this incident and lessons learned. The most important lesson learned was electrical power kills. Do not touch or go near any downed lines or guide lines until proven there is no electrical hazard. In other words wait for the power company to advise that is safe.