SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – It’s no secret that hybrid and electric vehicles have caught on in the Bay Area. However, the eco-friendly auto trend appears to be presenting some challenges for first responders called to the scene of roadside emergencies and accidents.

About 50 firefighters from across the greater Bay Area attended a training seminar recently, hosted by the San Francisco Fire Department and National Fire Protection Association.

“We have to proceed in different ways because there are some things in these vehicles that can be hazardous to us or to the victims we’re trying to help,” explained Jose L. Velo, SFFD Director of Training. “The batteries, if they catch on fire, can be an issue for us. Normal techniques of putting water on the fire may not work on some of these vehicles. When we cut the vehicle in order to extricate a victim we have to be very careful and knowledgeable about where those cables are.”

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Velo described it as “critical” that first responders learn as much as possible about emerging green technology on the road, pointing out that it was two years ago that San Francisco firefighters were trained to respond to fires at buildings that have solar panels.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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