Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Indianapolis Firefighters Get Special Training For Hidden Dangers Posed By Blue Indy

Who would have thought? Emergency responders face hidden dangers in responding to automobile collisions involving those little environmentally-friendly Blue Indy cars. Fox 59 News reports on special training the company is providing to Indianapolis firefighters to help ensure they don't fry themselves while drying to free someone from one of the electric cars, including special rubber gloves costing $170 a pair:
. . . “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.


Sir Hailstone said...

Shocking, isn't it Gary? (*RIMSHOT*)

Thank you, Thank you I'll be here all week and don't forget to tip your waitstaff

I'm awaiting the first report of a car jumping a curb and taking out one of the high voltage charging stations. Since the cars have a 600VDC battery those charging stations probably run 460V 3 phase AC power.

Anonymous said...

same basic concept as other all electric cars?

Anonymous said...

Looks like plenty of civil suits in store for Blue Indy.

Pete Boggs said...

Indy's in the car rental business (something of an anti-trust issue as government subsidized to compete in the rental business); with cars that aren't NTSB approved & charging stations that are not UL approved. The city's liabilities will be obvious in the future; which begs the question about the appropriate coverage & insurance expense, covered by the public treasury for the unConstitutional pretense of government in business adventures.

As configured, Blue Indy not only consumes but displaces parking resources that belong to the people. A viable or credible approach to this idea would involve a private company operating approved cars & charging facilities on privately owned, properly zoned property; not the liberty hostile statism on current display. Citizens who pay the freight for these "just shut up & pay for it" fascist follies, can only park their cars on a pubic street for a limited period of time & then required to move that car.

Blue Indy is likewise a circumvention of due process & local zoning; which requires commercial property users to identify available parking, factored into approval of use & capacity; ratio of restaurant tables per available parking, etc. Many commercial property users have lost required spaces & therefore not compliant with the very zoning laws that Indy in the rental car business requires; inequitable application of the law, etc.

Statism in a cute wrapper or disguised as legoland, has an ugly, unsustainable bottom line; unConstitutional, therefore corrosive & toxic to the citizens that government is responsible to protect; not exploit and / or prey upon.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Read the very lengthy rental agreement Blue Indy makes its customers sign. It's got all kinds of protections and limitations to cover itself, leaving little for the consumer.

Anonymous said...

"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"


Did Blue Indy pay IFD for the time spent away from the job learning how to perform service on a private company's vehicles? If not, this is ghost employment.

Who got the exemption from the NHTSA? Bollore or Blue Indy? If it's Blue Indy, then the exemption is void, as it was applied for in bad faith. A private car rental company using a single type of vehicle is not conducting "demonstrations," but a rental business.

Since Gary is the watchdog and the journalist, I'd rather he did the FOIA for the exemption rather than having a reader be exposed to scrutiny.

Blog Admin said...

This explains why there's been an IFD truck and anywhere between 6-12 IFD+Blue Indy folks outside of the Blue Indy station near Irvington's library branch the past couple of days.

Anonymous said...

I know that our firefighters have the right to be trained to safely handle these electric cars and power stations, and I assume we taxpayers pay for it as part of our support for IFP. But shouldn't there be some sort of tally of all this so it can be appropriately itemized as one more cost of the blue indy boondoggle? Some day we'll look back and wonder just what that program cost? Because this is not free enterprise at work. This is social engineering. Like bike lanes. And trails. Its infrastructure. But it comes at the expense of potholes and streetlights and sidewalks in other parts of the city. We can't tear down blight, but we can support whatever pet project the mayor wants even though few seem to want it.

Anonymous said...

Now comes the truth wiser minds have known or surmised all along this sordid and illegal Blue Indy crony deal. Republican Greg Ballard's illegal Blue Indy battery powered rental car business features equipment fraught with danger for men, women, and children. No one is safe. And it's all still there, every damn bit of that equipment about which I was mocked or vilified by local politicians, Old North Side self-styled "elites", and even 'Friends' for my passion that the voice of the people, and the alleged force of the law, be carried out.

Neither occurred. And Greg Ballard made a total laughingstock of "the law" more than one time. Look at the danger to public safety foisted on the public by Kyle Walker and his wife Jennifer Hallowell Walker's meal ticket. To rub salt into the Walkers' wounds, it is Republican Greg Ballard who proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the is no need for Indianapolis to have a City County Council. No need at all.

Anonymous said...

Pump the brakes in the description of the geeky-looking Blue Indy cars as "environmentally friendly". Is that actually the case? Would it be more accurate to say these cars have a high total net carbon footprint? It is very possible these tiny rental cars are less "environmentally friendly" than say, an average gasoline powered SUV. From production to transportation to installation to coal-fueled recharge, the vehicles and the needed recharging apparatus produced by corporatist multi-billionaire Bollore may very well be more dangerous to the environment and to human life than the Indy taxpayers/residents/visitors have been told by the corrupt Republican mayor or by inept local media types asleep at their news wheels. This despicable scheme to use politicians who can be so easily bought and paid for to establish a dangerous battery powered rental car monopoly juiced by electricity created by the use of coal are not as "environmentally friendly" as the owner of the 15 year monopoly would have you think.

And it's in the childrens' neighborhoods. Still there. Lurking. Civil disasters on life and property just waiting to occur.

Anonymous said...

Is there not value in IFD and EMS personnel being trained in responding to crashes involving electric cars in general?

When you combine EV's and plug-in hybrids there are perhaps thousands of vehicles on Marion County streets that use high voltage battery technology, not just Blue Indy cars.

One could actually argue that Blue Indy cars are a safer form of electric car because the batteries are solid state lithium metal polymer and don't contain the flammable liquid electrolytes of the lithium ion batteries used in the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt or Tesla models.

Don't let pesky facts get in the way of the good ol' fashion scare campaign though, ok?