The concept of electric vehicles is nothing new in the United States, in fact the very first vehicles on our roadways were indeed electric.
Fast-forward nearly 150 years, these battery powered innovations have made quite the resurgence in our transportation sector, with the potential to completely take over vehicular transportation as we know it. Just this week General Motors and Ford have announced plans to make dramatic shifts towards electrification of their vehicle fleets, with GM committing to 20 new all-electric models by 2023.
These plans come on heels of similar commitments from Volvo, Nissan, and Volkswagen among other manufacturers. Impacts on Emergency Responders
As the electrification of our roadways picks up momentum, NFPA continues to look at what this means for our emergency responder community? According to the latest NFPA Fire Loss Report
, there were more than 174,000 vehicle fires reported during 2015 alone. That equates to a vehicle fire every 3 minutes on U.S. roadways. With more and more electric vehicles on our roadways, significant consideration needs to be placed on training and educating our emergency responders on the unique hazards these vehicle could pose. Some of these topics include:
Towing & Recovery
While our emergency responders have more than 100 years of experience responding to incidents involving internal combustion engine vehicles, these new considerations are requiring changes to existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and tactics. Training & Education
In 2009, recognizing the need to prepare our nations emergency responders for electric and other alternatively fueled vehicles, NFPA launched its Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Training Program
which offers training, tools, and information for emergency responders to safely handle emergencies involving alternative fuel vehicles. These concepts are delivered via classroom instruction, online training, videos, animations, simulations, data review questions, scenario rooms, 3D interactive environments, quick reference materials, and research. As vehicle manufacturers increasingly offer electric and hybrid vehicle models, these trainings are becoming an essential aspect of our responder’s day to day activities.
To access these training offering please visit us at: AFVTechSafety.org