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Rhode Island takes steps to protect first responders

Signed into law by State Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, the plates are aimed at stopping first responders from electrocuting themselves while using the Jaws of Life to rescue passengers from a damaged vehicle.

Senator Edward J. O’Neill, who sponsored the bill, said the proposal had been the result of conversations with local town planners, fire chiefs and fire marshalls, which had shown a limited knowledge of the dangers of high voltage systems, which can run through the structure of the car.

 ‘What is happening out there is our police, fire and rescue workers, along with tow truck operators, sometimes get to a scene of an accident and don’t know whether they’re dealing with an electric or hybrid vehicle,’ he said.

‘The legislation allows first responders to determine what instrument is appropriate to use for the rescue of those trapped inside electric vehicles quickly simply by looking at the license plate.’

Alex Grant

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