1. #1
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    Default Hybrid Car Extrication Safety Issues

    Has anyone out there had to deal with one of the new Hybrid - gas/electric cars at a vehicle accident yet? Have the manufacturers put out any literature or training classes on how to safely cut these cars. Any safety issues with the batteries and where they are located?

    Has anyone had to put out a car fire in a new hybrid car yet? Any safety issues or tactics that work or do not work that you discovered?

    Just curious.
    If you can keep your head about you, while those around you are losing theirs, then you will be a man my son.

    Rudyard Kipling.

  2. #2
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    Airborne's Avatar
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    We where talking about this a little lastnight in out FF1 class. It is my understanding that Toyota is set to mass produce there Hydrogen SUV in about 2 years, and I would have to belive that this will bring with it new worries to car fires.

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    In any of the electric-drive cars, it's not the batteries you have to worry about, it's the electronic frequency-drives that run the motors that can nail you.

    These freq-drives take the low voltage DC current from the batteries and turn it into high voltage AC - maybe in the range of 460 VAC! Even if the batteries are disconnected, the freq-drive stores some current in large capacitors inside the drive.

    I recall seeing some info on the web site of one of the rescue tool manufacturers. I'm out of town right now and can't dredge up the info on this slow modem and lously phone line connection I'm using, but try there.

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    Check with you local dealerships, we received a booklet about a year ago from Honda and Toyota on how to deal with their gas/electric hybrid cars. Haven't seen anything about hydrogen hybids yet.

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    Fuel cell cars (hydrogen) are no where near 2 years away, it's more like 20.

    For my day job I recently attended a General Motors class on alternate fuel vehicles where we discussed fuel cell technology.

    There are 2 types of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles:

    1) They carry the hydrogen on board. Otherwise known as a traveling H-bomb. There is only one vehicle of that type in use now and it's a Fed-Ex truck in Japan.

    2) Regeneration vehicles have the equipment on board that extracts the hydrogen from the atmosphere. Only problem with that is that the equipment takes up the entire back of an S-10 pick-up. It also costs about $40,000.

    I can't see any manufacturer doing anything to reduce the size or costs in only 2 years.

    Honda's web site has info on their FCX. There are a lot of links attached to their site but I didn't see anything geared toward us. It's mostly PR and sales stuff.

    KYChief hit the nail on the head regarding the drives
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

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    The hybrids are a breed of there own. The batteries can be located anywhere and they will have more than 1. Also be careful you can not hear them when they are running so make sure they are tyrned off and in park before you do anything else. Contact your local dealers they where rreal good with us bringing out cars for us to look at.

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