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Local first responders learn how to handle electric cars involved in collisions

First responders are trained to deal with motor vehicle accidents involving vehicles using gas, but electric cars are becoming more common.

The difference is the lithium battery system an electric car has.

One of the concerns early on with first responders was using water to eliminate a fire with such a strong electric system in place, but according to Matt Harding, a volunteer firefighter from Charlotte, North Carolina, electric cars still need water to put out a fire.

Harding visited Newark last week to deliver a presentation on the topic to local first responders.

Harding explained that it’s more difficult for the battery packs to catch fire, but when they do water is used to knock out flames as well as cool the battery system down.

He said not to crush or pull apart sealed battery pack systems, and that electric cars in the event of an accident should be jacked up to reveal their underside, checked for hot spots, and have voltage disconnected.