Dispelling Misconceptions About New Vehicle Technology at FDIC 2014

“When the event [vehicle accident] has happened, that’s it–it’s over, done, finished,” Matt Stroud told students at his Monday morning FDIC 2014 workshop, “Extrication Zone: Hybrid/New Vehicle Technology.

Responders of course should make sure to disable the vehicle’s powerhut off the ignition and disconnect the 12-volt and the electric battery. He sought to dispel the mistaken notion that undeployed vehicle safety systems like airbags can operate and hurt responders at the scene.

Stroud reassured his students with a description of how and why airbags deploy. The “brain” of the system interprets impact, deceleration, and speed data, and decides in 0.2 second whether to deploy the airbag in a situation. The accident the whole event is done in 0.8 second. If any one of those parameters doesn’t meet the threshold for deployment, the airbag remains undeployed and the event, the accident, is over.

It is impossible for anyone to recreate the minimum conditions required to deploy such systems. In his sixth year attending FDIC and fifth year presenting here, Stroud also touched on electric vehicles and recharging systems, giving his attendees a homework assignment to find out where vehicle recharging stations are in their areas and preplan for a response. Since these stations may involve extremely high voltage, he instructed them to call the local utility to shut off the power and not deal with it themselves.

“Extrication Zone: Hybrid/New Vehicle Technology,” is just one portion of an integrated two-day extrication presentation that will take place in one venue. Segments include “Principles of Extrication,” “Large Trailers/Buses,” and “EMS Aspects.” All instructors will be present at each segment to address questions relating to their particular expertise.


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