Baptism By Fire - A Reality For Ted Batchelor

Article by Jay Gory

Ted Batchelor, an obscure man from the obscure town of Chagrin Falls, made it to the Guinness Book of World Records one fine day in September last year when he followed his dream of pulling off a spectacular stunt.

He, along with 16 others, passed into history as they snatched the record for being the most men within a fire.

However, his claim to fame is not being a part of the team enveloped by fire only. He had, in fact, made the world gasp in disbelief when he entered the coveted world of fame by being included in the Guinness book of world records as early as 2004 when he became the very first man to survive a total body burn without oxygen, that too, for an astounding 2 min 38 seconds. The amazing feat took place on an island located at Ledges Quarry Park in Nelson, Ohio.

Holding the Guinness world record two times is not an easy task, however. It wasn’t entirely simple for Batchelor either. He started off as an ordinary boy attending the Chagrin Falls High School from where he graduated in 1977.

His long standing dream of becoming a stuntman stayed with him all throughout his childhood and his aspirations kept on growing even as he began to get advanced in years.

He was particularly notorious for pulling off various stunts and played extraordinary pranks on all his class fellows throughout his school days. The initiation also occurred back in school as he performed his first ever fire jump when he set himself on fire and dived into a falls. He was completely engulfed by the hungry flames as he plunged into the water below. The entire stunt lasted for 12 seconds. He then continued to do the same stunt year after year for an entire decade or so. The feat was later declared to be illegal and Ted Batchelor found himself landing up in jail several times on account of it.

He got himself a partner later on and even took part in the amazing ‘Burning Man’ festival in Nevada. His dream of pursuing various stunts continues, although he has restrained himself to fire stunts mainly now, forgoing other physical stunts that require him to jump through heights or through obstacles. He still believes strongly in doing stunts and enthuses everyone with his motto, "Follow your dream and do something you enjoy".

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