Firefighters, paramedics attend special class on electrical awar - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Firefighters, paramedics attend special class on electrical awareness

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

We spoke to CJ Hamilton of He travels the world to help first responders understand the dangers of electricity. Here's what he had to say: 
Why are these an important part of your demonstration?
The main thing about when you use the Vandigraf generators is that it shows you don't have to touch electricity. All you gotta do is get close to it. You don't find it. It'll come find you. 
So let's go back to the demonstration over here. What are we doing with the paperclip?
What we do with the paperclip is I tell them hey if you understand electricity you can control it with something as simple as a paperclip. Chris go ahead and show them how to control it with the paperclip. See that? All he's using is a paperclip and he's actually sending electricity a different way. So as soon as he takes the paperclip away, it'll start arcing again. As soon as he gets it there, he's controlling electricity. That's the main thing. We want these guys to get the knowledge 'cause when they're on scene, that paperclip is what you're looking for.
What are some of the more technical questions that they commonly have?
It's funny because the one thing about electricity, you don't need a technical question. And that's my class. It's "keep it simple stupid," I don't know if I should use that term. But the thing is just keeping it simple. Where do I stand if I have a downed power line? What if I have a panel that looks like it's off but we don't know if it is or it isn't? We show them how to find out if it's on. One of the big things is guys will run up and they'll grab a panel to open a door, grab a disconnect to shut it off. Soon as they grab it, that thing shorted out but not grounded yet, and you grab the handle, it'll lock you on, something called "lock on" now you're locked on to the thing and you can't let go 'cause now it controls your muscles. We go through a lot of simple stuff and all we're doing is letting them know this can happen, that can happen and when it does happen this is how you react and then it gives them a chance.
Let's change it up. Let's do something else. Ok Chris, let's, we're going to isolate him from the ground. He's got a stool we're going to stand him on and now we're gonna just throw that same electricity back on him and then watch what's going to happen. That electricity can't get out of his body now. Okay? Now it just starts picking up his hair. 'Cause that electricity is trying to find a place to go to and it can't find a place to get out and it's just filling up his body.
We're gonna add to this demonstration. We're gonna bring Robert in. Okay, watch his hairs when he discharges it. 
{zap and laugh}
See that? He's discharging. Now watch it. We're gonna shut it off now. Chris is going to take his hand off. Now watch his hair. Grab his wrist Boom. Just like that. Okay? {laughs}
You literally could save somebody's life. Oh yeah and it's not just for firefighters or police officers or paramedics. We use this for the general public. We go to schools and we show school kids what's going on, how to stay away from electricity. We show them how it shocks them and stuff like that. You can go to our website which is There's videos on there. There's testimonies on there. Click on the very front, first video. It's from the national training institute where we went and found out that we were the only 2 guys in the United States that's actually doing this class.
That was literally hair raising. 
Ha ha!
Thanks for your time. You know what, we're gonna put a link on our website after the show. We'll be right back. You're watching Sunrise on Hawaii News Now.

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