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Rescuers learn hybrid safety

“Never cut the orange wires.” That was the warning repeated many times over Tuesday night at Pulaski Middle School during a safety class on hybrid vehicles sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts.
Autotech instructor, Duane Throckmorton, an ASE Certified Master Technician, led the group of more than 80 statewide first responders, police department staff, city and county fire/rescue teams, volunteer fire departments, and towing and auto shop employees through the unique challenges of a rescue or fire involving hybrids.
The orange wires in hybrid vehicles travel from the battery pack to electric motors, explained Throckmorton, and produce enough amps and volts to power three standard houses — with power left over. Rescuers must use certain precautions and procedures during hybrid vehicle extrication and firefighting, he said.
The 2 1/2-hour class was endorsed by Chip Hutchinson, Pulaski fire marshal, who worked with the middle school, regional NAPA wholesale manager Jason Cooper from Charleston, W.Va., and Frank Gilbert, owner of two area NAPA stores to make the class happen.
“The problem originally was the cost. I knew $30 a person was a hardship, so NAPA stepped up and covered the costs,” Hutchinson said. “And, it’s a pretty good crowd.” He added how fortunate smaller communities were to get the training usually offered in larger cities due to greater hybrid vehicle traffic.
Throckmorton said the whole idea of the class is to help first responders overcome the fear of a crash involving a rescue with high voltage circuitry. He used a slide show to illustrate the electric/gas power systems in hybrids reviewing the features and warnings of Toyota, GM, Ford, Honda and other hybrid manufacturers’ vehicles.
Town Fire Chief Bill Webb said there’s no doubt the class was helpful for his staff. Assistant Town Fire Chief Jimmy Ward agreed. He said the class was real good. “It explained hybrid cars and made us more informed on what to do.”
Responders came from as far away as Richmond and Charlottesville. Those attending will receive certificates of completion and went home with a CD containing all hybrid manufacturers rescue manuals and emergency response guides.

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Rescuers learn hybrid safety

“Never cut the orange wires.” That was the warning repeated many times over Tuesday night at Pulaski Middle School during a safety class on hybrid vehicles sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts.
Autotech instructor, Duane Throckmorton, an ASE Certified Master Technician, led the group of more than 80 statewide first responders, police department staff, city and county fire/rescue teams, volunteer fire departments, and towing and auto shop employees through the unique challenges of a rescue or fire involving hybrids.
The orange wires in hybrid vehicles travel from the battery pack to electric motors, explained Throckmorton, and produce enough amps and volts to power three standard houses — with power left over. Rescuers must use certain precautions and procedures during hybrid vehicle extrication and firefighting, he said.
The 2 1/2-hour class was endorsed by Chip Hutchinson, Pulaski fire marshal, who worked with the middle school, regional NAPA wholesale manager Jason Cooper from Charleston, W.Va., and Frank Gilbert, owner of two area NAPA stores to make the class happen.
“The problem originally was the cost. I knew $30 a person was a hardship, so NAPA stepped up and covered the costs,” Hutchinson said. “And, it’s a pretty good crowd.” He added how fortunate smaller communities were to get the training usually offered in larger cities due to greater hybrid vehicle traffic.
Throckmorton said the whole idea of the class is to help first responders overcome the fear of a crash involving a rescue with high voltage circuitry. He used a slide show to illustrate the electric/gas power systems in hybrids reviewing the features and warnings of Toyota, GM, Ford, Honda and other hybrid manufacturers’ vehicles.
Town Fire Chief Bill Webb said there’s no doubt the class was helpful for his staff. Assistant Town Fire Chief Jimmy Ward agreed. He said the class was real good. “It explained hybrid cars and made us more informed on what to do.”
Responders came from as far away as Richmond and Charlottesville. Those attending will receive certificates of completion and went home with a CD containing all hybrid manufacturers rescue manuals and emergency response guides.

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