New technology brings often brings new challenges to emergency responders, and hybrid cars are no exception.
This month, Autoland on Route 22 in Springfield held a series of classes for local emergency responders detailing the techniques needed to effectively deal with hybrid cars involved in accidents. Several Springfield Fire Fighters and First Aid Squad members attended alongside their counterparts from other area municipalities.
While the cars are not more dangerous than gas-powered vehicles, firefighters and medical technicians have to learn how to handle them. Even an experienced responder would need new knowledge to navigate the cars.
“The battery is in a different place in the car,” Autoland President Mark Montenero said. “The vehicle is structured differently.”
Autoland is a Toyota dealership, and firefighters from Springfield and nearby municipalities gathered around Priuses and other hybrids. Springfield Fire Captain Carlo Palumbo noted that the electrical system on a Prius is colored orange, a sign that emergency responders should avoid contact.
“As technology gets better, it adds another step for us,” Springfield Fire Department Captain Carlo Palumbo said.