How do identify and deal with electric vehicles? Ron Moore, Brock Archer, and Tesla Motors have put together a good training (40 minute) video to help with our training. There are more and more of these vehicles hitting the roads and sooner or later you will be first due to one that has crashed. You have to recognize these vehicles because there are real hazards to firefighters. These are not your grandma’s old school grocery getter of years past where we could show up and start whacking metal.
In the video they discuss external and interior identifiers of electric vehicles. Be sure to pay close attention to to some of the points Moore and Archer make. Externally visual identifiers vary per manufacturer. Internally they vary just as much. Remember to use the driver as a resource if they are conscious. Another awesome resource is the Crash Recovery System by Moditech. Some may argue that it takes to long and we don’t have time to use this technology at working extrications. To refute that argument, I say there is a slim chance that any of us can remember all the variations of electric / hybrid technology in all the different manufactured vehicles. Screen shots of the Tesla Model S from the CRS are also below, click them to enlarge. Also be sure to follow BORON EXTRICATION for regular information on vehicles.
One teaching point that is always worth mentioning is to be suspicious of colored cables. Orange has been typically indicated higher voltage, but some manufacturers have also included other colors. Your alertness to an electric or hybrid vehicle should be heightened when found. Ron Moore discusses some of the identifier and cable points in the video.
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