Donald S. Nowak rescued Wayne L. Biers from electric shock, Filer City, Michigan, July 6, 1961. When a small grass fire started outside the filter plant where he was on night duty alone, Biers, 35, filter plant operator, reported it to the main plant and then began spraying the flames with a metal fire extinguisher, unaware that a power line carrying 7,200 volts of electricity had sagged close to the ground nearby. Nowak, 36, plant protection guard, arrived just before Biers in the darkness came in contact with the line, which was uninsulated. He fell across the wire, and instantly most of his body was covered with sparks, which also appeared along the wire. Nowak ran 50 feet, jumped over the sparking and sputtering wire, and moved to within two feet of the head of Biers. Sparks still covered the wire and much of Biers, including his hair, although there were none at the shoulders of his jacket. Nowak several times extended his hand toward Biers, moving it closer each time. Finding that the electricity did not arc to him as he feared it might, he then took hold of the jacket of Biers with both hands and felt no shock. Nowak quickly pulled Biers from the wire. Biers was unconscious, but Nowak revived him. Biers was hospitalized for severe burns and recovered.
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