. . . “Some important things we’re going to go over with you guys this morning is to how to safely de-energize the 450 volt battery so in case of an accident you can guys can do what you guys do,” said Blue Indy Maintenance Manager Ed Searcy as he addressed an IFD crew huddled around one of the electric cars at a charging station on North Meridian Street. “The reason we want the 12 volt battery disconnected…if there’s a way to cut it…cut it…is because if you start cutting the car and you haven’t disconnected the 12 volt battery there’s a good chance you’re going to start popping airbags.”
Searcy explained the firefighters would need to don a special set of $170 rubber gloves to disconnect the main power source, a 600 pound battery underneath the car, before diving under the hood in anticipation of treating injured passengers.
“It is a two-step process de-energizing the high voltage battery and then taking off the negative cable from the car. That way we make sure everything is de-energized,” said Searcy. “The battery has the technology where in an accident if the battery detects any short to ground, there are four sections in the battery monitoring this, if there is any short to ground, its going to kill the power to the high voltage battery. If the airbags are deployed, its going to kill the power to the high voltage battery.” . . .The danger of getting fried by one of the cars are the least of firefighters' concerns. Those power charging stations dotting the busiest streets in downtown and throughout the city are a far greater concern to their safety, as well as members of the public. It's too bad members of our local news media refuse to talk to experts who would tell them about the real public safety issues with Blue Indy instead of continuing to write press release after press release for a company built on stolen public assets.
UPDATE: An observant Advance Indiana reader tells us that emergency responder training was a requirement imposed by the National Highway Safety & Traffic Administration when it first granted Blue Indy permission to use their cars in Indianapolis for demonstration purposes only--since the cars have never been approved for use on American highways. The reader wonders why that training is only now occurring months after the cars were put into use.