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9-1-1 TV episode with compressed air gun incident makes for uncomfortable viewing

The dangers of compressed air

So I’m watching TV the other night and an episode of 9-1-1 is on. It is a show about an LA-based first responders’ team made up of paramedics, fire fighters, police, and the 911 call centre staff. Each episode is usually a series of incidents based around a theme. This particular episode was called “Under pressure” (Season 2, episode 1) and showed LA in the middle of a heat wave, which ultimately meant earthquake weather (I’m not sure how those two relate, but it was mentioned in the episode, so I’m guessing more earthquakes occur on the fault line during summer?). As each incident played out (and progressively got worse, and I got more and more uncomfortable watching), I actually had to turn away from the screen when the incident of the car mechanic impaling himself on the compressed air gun occurred.

9-1-1 TV show - episode including compressed air accident

Because we know that compressed air via a gun or nozzle is dangerous and should never be directly applied to skin or EVER directly into a person. So an air gun to the buttock cheek is a definite NO NO - eeww!

In this episode, the poor mechanic is literally blowing up with compressed air, and by the time the paramedics attend to him he’s literally puffed up with air (think StayPuft marshmallow man), his organs are failing, his eyes are under extreme pressure, and they can’t even pierce his skin to inject morphine. They eventually stab something into his chest to release the air and pressure, save his life, and cart him off to hospital.

9-1-1 TV show including compressed air accident - man inflating with air

An extreme example of what compressed air can do, perhaps. And it does make me wonder how many of the incidents shown on this show are based on real calls to 911. Did some poor car mechanic actually do this in real life? I’m guessing with so much social media and internet coverage these days, there’s bound to be some element of fact about this particular incident.

So, we can be grateful that perhaps by showing this incident, it will make regular viewers of this TV show a little more aware of the dangers of compressed air via guns or nozzles.

Read more about why compressed air guns and nozzles should not be used for personnel cleaning.