Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tragically Dumb

In Washington State, north of Seattle, the Sedro-Woolley Fire Department this week responded to a report of a fire and explosion in which two people had been severely burned.

Upon arrival at the scene, the responders found no fire nor building damage. But two badly burned men were found and flown to the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Fire officials learned that the explosion was the result of a practice known as “barrel riding,” in which a 55-gallon drum with fuel in it is lit with a rider on top, causing the barrel to be propelled forward.

Authorities said the men poured about four gallons of methanol racing fuel into a 55 gallon barrel, replaced the 2-inch closure and attempted to light the fuel through the 3/4-inch closure while the two men sat on the barrel.

The barrel did not behave like a rocket. Instead, it exploded, sending one end of the barrel some 120 feet and critically burning the two barrel riders.

Three days later, one of the two men succumbed to his injuries, while the other remains in intensive care.

This is a head-shaker. So dumb. So sad.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Real Undercover Operation

In Flemington recently, police were called to a neighborhood one night on a report of two men smashing the windows of parked cars. When an officer arrived, he saw men matching the description, but they fled when they saw him. The officer gave chase.

One of the men went into an apartment building and, according to police, "ran into his bedroom, hopped into bed and pulled the blankets over him."

Sure, that’ll work. They’ll never find him there. He should be safe from monsters, too.

The man was taken into custody and charged with criminal mischief, eluding police and hindering his apprehension.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Jersey Traffic

Morning commuters on Route 80? No, it’s the "Demolition Derby" that is part of the Cumberland County Fair each July. This year’s fair included two Demo Derbies, the second of which was this past Saturday.

Demolition derbies are a dubious but durable activity, having been around generally as long as there have been automobiles. Smoking, steaming cars crashing into one another may seem to be the antithesis of today’s "green" movement, but it has a certain effectiveness in ridding the roads of "clunkers."

It also brings out the latent redneck in all of us. Sometimes a little stupid fun is a good thing.

But in order to have the fun, safety personnel need to be at the ready. To share the workload, in recent years the Cumberland County Fair has had on hand the Seabrook Fire Company, Lower Township EMS, Laurel Lake Fire and Rescue Squad 13, Hopewell-Stow Creek Fire Company, Millville Fire Department, Millville Rescue Squad and Upper Deerfield EMS Squad 34.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chill Out

For a hot July day, a glimpse of winter.

This letter carrier is shown upholding the unofficial credo of the Postal Service, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

This letter carrier is also carrying pepper spray, the white canister toward the bottom left in this photo, with which postal employees fend off unfriendly dogs.

Pepper Sprays are one of our signature products here at the Badge Company of New Jersey, sold under our Pepper Defense Products brand name. The products are used not only by letter carriers, but by police, corrections officers, and more. Our home page for Pepper Defense Products is here:


Photo by Mark Hertzberg