GM expands electric vehicle emergency training for first responders

  • General Motors is launching a new EV first responder training program to support its growing electric vehicle lineup that includes the Chevrolet Bolt EV, GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq.
  • The new training materials are being made available online as well as through in-person sessions in the United States and Canada. Anyone working as a first responder will be able to earn a Certificate of Completion from the Illinois Fire Service Institute upon successful completion of the session.
  • The National Fire Protection Association, which is assisting GM with this new project, already offers safety documents for electric vehicles and alternative fuels from more than 60 automakers on its website. And Tesla also has emergency response manuals for all of its models.

    Much has been said about the GMC Hummer EV’s huge battery. After all, this pack weighs 2923 pounds, almost as much as an entire small car, say a 2018 Honda Fit, which has a curb weight of 2595 pounds. With that kind of weight, the amount of power potentially contained in the Hummer’s battery could be a cause for concern for first responders approaching the scene of an incident involving one of these new electric vehicles.

    GM says its OnStar system already has the ability to tell first responders if an electric vehicle is involved in an incident. To reassure these first responders that they know how to handle such a situation, General Motors announced this week that it is expanding its efforts to train emergency personnel in the United States and Canada to better cope. electric vehicle emergencies.

    Illustration of the Chevrolet Bolt EV battery pack, taken from the emergency guide.

    General Engines

    GM has released a new EV First Responder training program that not only provides vital information about the technology inside an electric vehicle, but also details industry best practices for dealing with electric vehicles and electrified vehicles. like hybrids in all sorts of potentially difficult situations. GM will train people using the program not only with live presentations, but also with expert presentations, videos and virtual demonstrations, the company said. GM hosts four-hour safety presentations in various cities through its gmEVFirstResponderTraining.com website and offers certificates through the Illinois Fire Service Institute to those who successfully complete the sessions.

    “The best way for owners of public and private vehicle fleets to quickly adopt electric vehicles is to train firefighters and emergency responders on how to handle incidents involving battery-powered vehicles,” said Andrew Klock from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in a statement. “Firefighters have had more than 100 years to acquire the knowledge to respond to internal combustion engine fires, and it is essential that they are now trained in electric vehicle safety.”

    gmc hummer ev emergency guide

    From the GMC Hummer EV Emergency Guide.

    General Engines

    Guides for electric vehicle emergencies

    GM is of course not the first nor the only automaker to provide this type of educational material to first responders. Tesla has a website dedicated to “helping fire departments and first responders safely handle emergencies involving all Tesla products,” including all of the company’s electric vehicles as well as superchargers and solar roof panels. The NFPA hosts a collection of emergency response guides from more than 60 alternative fuel vehicle manufacturers, ranging from small companies like Lucid to large truck manufacturers like Freightliner. The NFPA has been working with alternative fuel automakers since 2010 to make these types of guides free and easy to access.

    tesla model emergency response sheet

    From the Tesla Model S Emergency Guide.

    You’re here

    In announcing its new program, GM said learning safe ways to handle an electric vehicle in an emergency can also benefit owners. If you’re an electric vehicle owner, it might be worth clicking through to find a first responder guide for your own car and consider it beach reading this summer.

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