The technology behind hybrids cars that use both a gasoline engine and electric motor for propulsion may save on fuel for the driver, but it could also put rescuers at risk of serious electrical shock.
"If you're walking up to a [hybrid] car that's laid up on its side, the last thing we're looking forward to is getting electrocuted" says Herbert Scott, chief of the Brinker Volunteer fire department in Silver Springs, Texas. "Without a doubt there will be a day where that will happen."
Andy Burgess, assistant chief of the Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service, said emergency crews often have to cut away parts of cars to get at victims, and if they cut in the wrong place while a hybrid car is running, it could be deadly. "It could kill them if you short it out the wrong way and you absorb it in your body,"
Source: canada.comEDMONTON, AB - Paramedic and volunteer firefighter Cris Turley conquered his fear this weekend about being called to a hybrid-car crash. The Viking emergency worker was initially trained to use rubber lineman gloves during such rescues to protect himself from electrocution. It didn't make him feel too secure. Hybrid-car batteries can pack as much power as 500 volts on top of the normal 12-volt battery used in regular cars. "The rumours were that you could have burns from battery acid, electrocution and fires," Turley said.
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