LAFD is slowly starting to use Hybrids for staffing vehicals
they are great
dont know about anyfire hazards tho...
I think that it might be helpful to your readers if you provided them with the manufacturer's resource links where they can download the hybrid manufacturer's Emergency Response Guides (ERGs) directly. Most of the questions that responders may have are answered in these guides.
At one time "Responder Fear" swept the globe because of passive safety features know as airbags. Again responder fear rose up again as "high voltage" hybrid vehicles emerged on the market. The latest responder fear is from roof mounted solar panels. What is the common factor for responder fear? Lack of proper education in the form of responder awareness; responders don’t get the information they need until after a product has been introduced.
It took the injury of (2) responders caught by a news team to draw attention worldwide to airbags. Since then airbag manufacturers and some car manufacturer's provide airbag safety information for responders. How did hybrid fear start? Simple, misinformation was spread worldwide by the Internet followed by media focusing on responder fear for sensationalism. Writing about how manufacturers are helping responders doesn’t sell papers, but one article saying responders are afraid to go to a crash draws everyone’s attention.
Toyota and Honda being the first to introduce hybrids were quick to head off responder fear with the publication of hybrid vehicle ERGs for their own make and models. Toyota conducted extrication and live burn tests to enable the ERG writers definitive answers regarding hybrid vehicle rescue (fire/spills/extrication). Two years ago Toyota Motor Sales, Inc, of U.S. developed a complete lesson plan to give responders needed information in a readymade slideshow format and given out at the FDIC attendees. While the LP was designed for Toyota/Lexus hybrids, it’s generic enough that training officers/instructors can add other make hybrid models in their presentation quite easily using specific manufacturer's ERGs.
For those doing extrication, there are no high voltage lines in any hybrid vehicle for the typical cut zones for roof removal or dashboard displacement. There are automatic and manual safety features built into the design of every hybrid vehicle. If the airbags deploy, the hybrid system should shut down automatically. Responders should turn the ignition to the “OFF” position; this shuts down the hybrid system, fuel pump and interrupts power to the SRS ECU. Don’t touch, cut or breach any high voltage component, even in the event of a fire. There is no way a responder in the field can identify if a high voltage component is still electrified.