Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A shocking experience!

Electricity is a very wonderful thing that makes our lives so much easier. It can also be a very bad enemy. You have to be very careful, because of how dangerous it is. Everybody has at least experienced static electricity and just that little spark can hurt. Well someone came up with a clever device to use this electricity to help subdue somebody. I'm talking about a tazer. It is a great device for law enforcement. After I finished the Academy it was time for tazer class. We had a wonderful policy that stated, you have to be to tazed to be able to carry the tazer ha ha. So I signed myself up so I could carry one. So I wanted to talk about my experience and also found some great information to explain how the Tazer works directly from . At the end of the blog is the video from that experience. I know some people will laugh and others will hurt just watching. If you have ever been through the experience it is very hard to laugh at I promise.

* the next illustrations and information came directly from 

"Electricity is a flow of energy, or more specifically a flow of electric charge within a conductor. That conductor can be a copper wire, or it can be the human body. Much like water flows through a pipe, electronics flow-through a wider. When we measure electricity, there are two key measures- voltage, measured in volts, and current, measured in amperes.

Voltage, which is also called Electro-Motive Force, is similar to the pressure in a water hose. The voltage provides the pressure to push an electric current through the wire.

In our analogy to flowing water, voltage is like pressure, measured in pounds per square inch. Current is the flow rate, similar to gallons per second in our water analogy.

By way of analogy, let's compare a waterfall to rainfall.. The pressure or voltage behind each droplet of water in the waterfall is actually a lot less than for each raindrop- because the raindrop is falling from a much greater height. So, the voltage of this waterfall is much less than for rain. However, the rate of flow or current for the waterfall is much, much higher than for the rain, which falls in small droplets separated in space and time compared to the continuous flow of the waterfall. Standing under the waterfall would certainly be a very dangerous place to be- much more so than in the rain. Similarly, being exposed to a high current electrical current- like the one out of your wall outlet, can be very dangerous, even at moderate voltages like 110 volts. Exposure to high voltage, low current shocks- such as a static discharge on a dry day, is far less dangerous. Static shocks regularly exceed 30,000 volts, yet they deliver very low amounts of electric charge, and there has never been a reported injury directly from the affects of a static shock, although there have been some secondary injuries from people who were surprised and may have fallen, etc.

When we think about electricity, the first turn to come to mind is usually volts. This is because our electric power grid is a fixed voltage system, and is rated in volts.   

However, when we talk about electric safety, the current in amperes is much more critical than voltage. For example, a Taser ecd has about a tenth of the peak current of a static shock.

So, if voltage is not the key factor in making an electric stimulation effective, why does the Taser ecd have a high  peak voltage?

The rainfall analogy is a very good one for a Taser ECD discharge. The drops of rain are separated by time and space such that the actual current workflow of water down from the sky is quite small.

A TASER ECD works by mimicking and interfering with your brains communication with the muscles.
Talking on the phone and static interfering with your call, making you unable to communicate with the person on the other end. Once the static on telephone stops, communication resumes, and there's no damage to the phone.

So, this naturally begs the question- if the Taser ECD output current is so low, how can it be effective in stopping a violent subject?

The answer is because the Taser ECD current does not rely on brute force, or on sheer power. Instead, the Taser ECD pulses mimic the electrical signals used within the human body to communicate between the brain and the muscles. The Taser ECD simulates the pulsed communications used within the nerves, and interferes with communication- like static on the telephone lines within the body.

Sometimes people will ask isn't electricity dangerous? The answer is- well yes, it can be. But electricity is actually necessary for life- we literally cannot live without it.

Electrical pulses control every thought we have, every breath we take, every sensation we feel, every sight we see, every sound we hear- every complex life process depends on these electrical signals within our bodies that occur billions of times every second.
The brain is like an incredibly complex conductor, leading a string section of incomprehensible complexity. As the brain uses electrical pings to simulate the nerves in a complex and highly coordinated fashion, consciousness emerges and neuromuscular control becomes possible.

The probes deployed from a Taser ECD carry fine wires that connect to the target and deliver the Taser into his neural network. These pulses delivered by the Taser ECD overwhelm the normal nerve traffic, causing involuntary muscle contractions and impairment of motor skills."  
* great information from and actually gave me a better understanding of how it works.

Whenever you pull the trigger on the tazer it automatically starts a five second countdown as soon as the prongs enter your body. I can say, it seems like a lot longer than just five seconds ha ha. After you go through it then everybody wants to know how it felt. It is really an intense pain that is hard to describe. I would have to say it felt like someone stabbed knives in your back full of electricity that locks up your entire body. After reading through the information it basically paralyzes you and at the same time you feel an intense pain. It is not anything that you will ever want to feel again. The other question I get asked is if I ever got to use it on anybody. I actually never got to inflict that type of pain on anyone else myself. Which makes the experience that much worse ha ha. I also remember showing this video to my therapist at the Shepherd Center right after my accident. They said I was the first patient that had ever been tazed ha ha or shown them the video. Yes, I am a very unique character.

Well, I know everyone has really been ready to watch the video at the bottom if you have even read the other parts of the blog ha ha. I just want to add a couple of notes to pay attention to in the video. If you watch it a couple of times you can tell immediately that even my feet locked up. Also, once I'm lying on the ground you can look closely to see the little electric spark on my back. They also were using alligator clips that connected back to the tazer so they can use it on several people for training. That allowed them to spread the clips further apart to have a better connection and it definitely worked. It also left little burn marks on my back for a very long time. Just pay attention to how my body locks up, and as soon as it's over I completely relax. I also just lay there on the ground after it's over for a little bit to recuperate ha ha. While it was going on, I thought it would be over as soon as they laid me to the ground but there was a couple of seconds left. That was the longest couple of seconds of my life. This video is from 2007 after I had gotten out of the Academy. So, I also noticed that I was looking pretty damn good if I say so myself ha ha. Anyways this is my shocking experience!

1 comment:

  1. I've got tazer class coming up next month. Thanks for a shock! Ha! But to be honest, would you rather be tazered or O.C. sprayed? Having not been tazered yet, but O.C.'d, give me the tazer!

    I enjoy reading your blogs. Keep them coming.

    Jordan Stevens