Safer cars are more challenging for first responders

August 10, 2012 12:00 AM

Consumers pay attention to safety ratings on cars when preparing to make a purchase. The past decade has produced some amazing safety advancements to improve survival rates and decrease the risk of serious injury when accidents occur. While more vehicles are on the road with modern safety technology, it is imperative that first responders are adequately trained on these vehicles. These safety features haven't been easy on first responders when the unfortunate accident occurs.

"They're designing cars for consumers, not for rescuers," instructor Greg Rudiger tells a class of first responders here at the Rio Hondo Fire Academy training center, according to USA Today.

First responders are facing hazards never dealt with before. They could face frustration such as high-strength steel that is difficult to cut through all the way or serious dangers of high-voltage systems in some hybrids and electric cars. Knowing what is underneath the sheetmetal has become imperative for responders.

Automakers are now working with fire departments across the country to train and educate rescuers on these new vehicles and how to best approach them when responding to an accident. Further, some car companies, such as Kia, are donating models with new features for training purposes. 

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