Posted at: 10/23/2012 5:59 PM
| Updated at: 10/23/2012 7:22 PM
By: John McLoughlin
A group of more than 40 New York State Troopers is said to be the first in the nation to get special training in the dangers posed by all-electric, or hybrid vehicles
The troopers are being trained by the National Fire Protection Association, so that when they come upon an accident, or a disabled motorist with an electric vehicle, they know how to deal with the special risks that are posed by that vehicle.
The troopers from all over the state are told that hybrids or even all-electrics are no more dangerous than gas-powered vehicles, just different.
Sergeant Terence McDonnell says: "Ignorance is the problem here, and that's what the training is all about, to teach these troopers about the vehicles propulsion system...”
Jason Emery of the National Fire Protection Association says: "When you are approaching the vehicle always try to do so from the sides, because you really cannot be sure that the car is shut down”
This team of experts urging troopers, or anyone to take special precautions.
The electric power system is designed to automatically shut down, but the engine is so quiet that first responders must be overly cautious before touching any of those orange-colored cables
The batteries, especially for all-electric vehicles can be very powerful and very dangerous.
Experts say there have been no deaths, but they do recall an incident involving a taxicab in Chicago that was converted to electric, a fact not quickly recognized by police and firefighters at the scene.
Kenneth Willette from The National Fire Protection Association says, "They did not realize that it was an electrical vehicle until they discovered the presence of the battery."
Luckily, no one was injured because they took extra caution.