Hybrid Safety for First Responders

With the popularity of Hybrid and other alternative-fuel vehicles rapidly increasing, MGS Tech Owner/President Matt Stroud’s “Hybrid Safety for First Responders” workshop at FDIC 2010 offered students the knowledge they will need to safely and confidently manage Hybrid vehicle accidents. Stroud’s lecture was accompanied by a Powerpoint® presentation, three short videos, a Hybrid Response Guide, and numerous Hybrid vehicle parts for demonstration. He also discussed Hybrid auto parts locations, high-voltage hazards, power down procedures, and fire and submersion tactics. “What I am teaching is not just about Hybrid vehicle technology but all new technology in motor vehicles; this has caused a lot of hesitation, misrepresentation, and fear in first responders and EMS personnel. Their unfamiliarity with this technology has caused much consternation when confronted with what should be a routine extrication.”

Stroud also spoke at length on the properties and behavior of electrical currents, batteries, and wiring in motorized vehicles; voltage vs. amperage; and high-intensity discharge headlamp assembly.
“My job,” Stroud continued, “is to relay the true information about these vehicles at a firefighter level so responders can remove the myths they may have heard, drop the hesitation and fear they may have, and feel more comfortable about extricating from these vehicles. Simplification and standardization is my goal. The “red car/blue car” theory, which falsely leads responders to believe that alternative-fuel cars’ interior composition varies, creates too many ways of trying to skin a cat. Simply put, I need to remind responders that most vehicles are built with four tires; a steering wheel; doors; and seats.”

Stroud founded MGS Tech in 2007. He is a regular contributor to FireEngineering.com’s Extrication Zone.

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