Firefighters prepare for electric car fires

Credit: Adam Worthington / KTVB

Firefighters prepare for electric car fires

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 11:02 PM

MERIDIAN -- We've seen electric cars become more popular as gas prices rise. Now firefighters are seeing the need to prepare for situations involving hybrid cars.

Firefighters from all over the state came to Meridian Saturday to learn about the dangers from fires involving electric cars. Small logos are the only things that make electric cars look different than other cars on the road. But for first responders, they can be an unexpected danger.

"We had one pull off in a field one time and the tires were still spinning, and the car was sitting there, but you couldn't tell that the car was on," said Jim Hitch, who used to be a firefighter in Moscow. Now he's with the Parma Volunteer Fire Department and Idaho Emergency Services Training.

"Being in the Moscow area, when I was up there, there's a lot of environmentally conscious folks that want to go with the hybrid vehicles," Hitch said. "Since they're silent, you don't know that they're on, so the vehicles can move without you even knowing."

Captain Rick Marston with the Emmett Fire Department brought some of their crew to the event.

"I think it's a good idea to get them trained ahead of time and see what's going on for their own safety and for the safety of the public," said Marston.

"It sneaks up on them. They're not expecting it," Hitch said.

Organizers hope this training will make firefighters all over Idaho more aware of the new technology, and how it could effect them while doing their job.

Those who recieved the training will bring the information back to their department, and teach the rest of the crew.

About half of the firefighters at the training are paid, the other half are part of volunteer departments.

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