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Newton Fire 2nd department in country to have Emergency Plug

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February 13, 2023 | MASSACHUSETTS Captain Phil McCully, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Newton Fire is proud to be the second department in the country to have the latest tool in Electric Vehicles on their apparatus. The emergency plug is a tool that can be utilized to prevent sudden vehicle movement. The emergency plug was created by Total Safety Solutions and was invented by two Amsterdam firefighters. Several years ago the two firefighters were discussing the need to address first responder safety for electric vehicles. They then invented this tool. This tool allows first responders to connect to an electric vehicle, and it then "puts the car to sleep" by disabling the car's gas pedal, and placing the car into park or neutral. This plug has universal connections to plug in any EV on the market.

After seeing the successful deployment of this tool in Europe, our department reached out to Jan Wijnans, one of the two firefighters who created this tool. Our department was very excited at the degree of safety this tool adds to our responses. Newton Fire purchased five of these units and has them on their ladder trucks, heavy rescue, and shift commander's vehicle. This tool does not discharge the battery and will only be used in medical emergencies and car accidents. This tool will not be deployed at EV fires, as it is not created for that purpose.

The City of Newton uses Nissan leaf EV vehicles for their inspection services department, so one of the vehicles were loaned to allow the department to do a walkthrough and familiarization of this model of EV. The department then demonstrated and trained its members on how the emergency plug operates. This emergency plug prevents the sudden unexpected movement of an EV on the scene. It is a great tool in our toolbox. We are very excited to join our brothers and sisters on the FDNY in deploying this tool in the field.

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Captain Phil McCullyCorrespondent

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