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  • Hybrid Hazards

    The following info came from the Washington Times on 2/23.

    The article was in reference to tow truck operators raising concerns when they encountered HEVs(hybrid electric vehicles). Many times tow truck operators(and firefighters) have to cut a battery cable in order to prevent further problems after an accident. Operators fear that a damaged high-voltage HEVs in the rain could cause serious injury. The National Hiway and Traffic Safety Admin. reports no injuries or fatalities from HEVs but tow truck operators want more info on how the vehicles work. A trade article printed last year on hybrid vehicle hazards warned that the Toyota Prius battery pack has a 300 volt charge which is enough amperage to kill a person. Tow truck operators have been advised to carry insulated rubber gloves, goggles, face shields, prot. clothing, safety boots, litmus paper and neutralizing agent to protect themselves in case of electrical shorts or acid leaks. Toyota literature on the Prius states, "careless handling of the damaged vehicle may result in electrocution or severe injury".


    I am going to see what other info I can locate on these vehicles to share with my folks as well as you all. Within our city services, are 2 of these Toyotas as well as EV Ford Rangers plus one of the airlines run numerous electrically powered ground support vehicles. We have have not encountered any problems as yet.

  • #2
    Just as a reminder, I know the information that you are talking about(The response guide for the Toyota Prius) this paper was not intended for fire service personel. It was intended for Toyota service personel. The information that you are wanting is coming very soon. It wont be long.

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    • #3
      check with Loudoun County, Virginia's Department of Fire & Rescue. They have a good powerpoint program. They will be offering this program at the Maryland State Fireman's Association Convention in Ocean City, Maryland. This will be done in June 2001.

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