In one incident, emergency responders rushed to a collision involving a hybrid vehicle, which used a 500-volt battery pack to supplement an internal combustion engine. After tending to the passengers, who had only minor injuries, firefighters assessed the vehicle and assumed the ignition was off since the motor wasn’t running. They were wrong.
As the team worked near the car’s electrical components, a firefighter who happened to be familiar with hybrids realized the electrical system was still live. The crew took immediate steps to power down the vehicle. "While there was no injury, crews worked directly in front of the car and had raised the hood with the potential of injury," states the report on the system’s website, www.firefighternearmiss.com. "The situational awareness was such that the proper shutdown procedures were not readily recognized. We learned that we were not as trained as we thought we were. And this was a competent crew with many years of experience." Read the Full Story
The U.S. Fire Administration offers these tips when dealing with crashes involving hybrid vehicles: