Showing full confidence on its EV emergency system, General Motors (GM) has decided to train emergency personnel in the U.S. and Canada to better deal with EV emergency with its EV First Responder Training Program.
GM says its OnStar system already can tell first responders know if an EV is involved in an incident.
“The best way for the public and private vehicle fleet owners to rapidly adopt EVs is to train firefighters and emergency responders on how to handle incidents involving battery-powered vehicles,” Andrew Klock of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) said in a statement. “The fire service has had more than 100 years to gain the knowledge needed to respond to internal-combustion engine fires, and they must be now educated on EV safety.”
GM has released a new EV First Responder Training program that not only provides vital information on the technology inside of an electric vehicle but also details industry best practices for dealing with EVs—and electrified vehicles like hybrids—in all kinds of potentially difficult situations.
GM will train people using the program not only with live presentations but also presentations from experts, videos, and virtual demonstrations, the company said. GM is scheduling four-hour safety presentations in various cities through its gmEVFirstResponderTraining.com website and is offering certificates through the Illinois Fire Service Institute to those who complete the sessions.
GM is, of course, not the first or only automaker to provide these kinds of educational materials to first responders. Tesla has a website devoted to “helping fire departments and first responders safely handle emergencies involving all Tesla products,” including all of the company’s EVs 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 builders like Freightliner.
The NFPA has been working with alternative-fuel automakers since 2010 on making these kinds of guides free and easy to access.
In announcing its new program, GM said learning about safe ways to deal in an EV emergency can also benefit owners.