First responders to receive training in Bessemer, Prattville on safety in accidents involving alternative fuel vehicles
October 9, 2012 9:36 AM
First responders this week will have an opportunity to learn how to safely respond to accidents involving alternative fuel vehicles at training sessions in Bessemer and Prattville.
The training addresses safety hazards that may confront police and firefighters at accidents involving hybrid electric vehicles, as well as plug-in electric, battery electric and fuel cell electric models.
While most first responders are accustomed to dangers associated with traditional fuels, they may be less familiar with hazards involving newer and increasingly popular alternative-fuel vehicles.
Electric and hybrid vehicles pose a greater threat of electrical shock for firefighters than other vehicles, according to a 2010 study by the Fire Protection Research Foundation.
"The specific hazards confronting the fire service with electric and hybrid electric vehicles are not much different than the hazards from conventionally fueled vehicles. Although different, they are not extraordinary in terms of their challenges to control and mitigate. Some fire service professionals have expressed their opinions that the specific hazards ... can be readily managed with adequate preparation and common sense," the report stated.
"Changing technology presents new challenges and hazards to first responders," Ed Paulk, the state fire marshal for Alabama, said in a news statement. "Whether you are in the fire service, police or emergency medical service, training is the first line of defense against the hazards and the basis for determining the best way to face the new challenges."
The Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and Lawson State Community College are offering the sessions. The program will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Lawson State Community College's Bessemer campus and Thursday at the Prattville Fire Training Facility north of Montgomery.