Photo Gallery | GAS LEAK: Closes Art Museum Drive July 11, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Last Wednesday, at approximately 8:00 a.m., two men were digging a hole to make room for a new cellular communication line when they accidentally nicked a gas line. 

Within minutes of their report, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue had closed a city block of Art Museum Drive at Atlantic Boulevard and moved into action. If you have not witnessed the response of these brave men and women, it is a sight to see.

Nearly twenty fire and rescue personnel jumped into action and suited up for what could have been one sudden ball of fire. The difficulty of this task was immediately apparent. The pipe was directly under a large piece of sidewalk. Using their entire arsenal of tools that Batman would envy, they dug, prodded, hammered, and cut their way toward the line. At some times, the entire air filled with a pungent gas smell. Still, with 95 degree heat and suited for a full-out assault on this pipe, these men and women kept exploring.  Three men had to climb into the hole or be suspended upside down in order to get to the culprit.

Nearly two hours went by while eight or more men dug down to the broken line. As a precaution, one man kept a three-inch hose targeted at the group, and his support staff of ten held the hose in case full water pressure was required. As you probably know, a fire hose is not like a garden hose. More than two or three firemen must securely hold a fire hose to keep it from whipping the nozzle holders' hands endangering everyone within ten or twenty yards.

By 10:00 a.m., the danger was over, and the line was capped. Twenty completely drained firemen walked slowly back to their fire trucks.

Another interesting note is that, even in 2012, it appears that most of the firemen do not have communication devices. The fireman leading the assault had to continually make hand gestures to communicate the next step in the process and what tools were needed.

One thing is obvious from witnessing such an event - these guys earn their pay.   All eight or nine men directly over the leaking pipe might have been incinerated in a flash.  Meanwhile, children played at summer camp, workers sat comfortably at work in air conditioning, drivers continued down the road and the earth continued to spin.  Only a few people knew that these men and women put their lives on the line this morning.

God Bless our Fire and Safety team and Police and Rescue.

BEFORE YOU DIG, CALL 811 - IT IS THE LAW.  PROFESSIONALS WILL DETERMINE IF THERE ARE ANY DANGEROUS LINES, CABLE LINES, OR FIBER OPTIC LINES WHICH MAY BE DAMAGED WHILE DIGGING.

THIS INFORMATION WAS COMPILED BY RADIO SPORTS TALK HOST AND JACKSONVILLE GIANTS TELEVISION PLAY BY PLAY ANNOUNCER RICHARD MILLER.  AT 26, RICHARD MILLER IS THE YOUNGEST RADIO SPORTS TALK HOST IN THE NATION.  HIS SHOW, MILLER ON SPORTS, AIRS WEEKDAYS FROM 4:00 TO 6:00 P.M. ON AM 1600 – THE BEACH.  LISTEN TO MILLER ON SPORTS.   “EVERYTHING ELSE IS JUST TALK.”  All photographs and images are the property of Miller On Sports.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

Photos by:  B.L. Miller

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