Skip navigation
All Places > NFPA Today > Blog > Author: andrewklock
3 4 5 6 7 Previous Next

NFPA Today

101 Posts authored by: andrewklock Employee

FlashoverTV is powered by

EV Safety Training Subject matter Expert Jason Emery sat down with the team over at Flashover1 to talk about Electric Vehicle Safety Training. Jason is one of EV Safety Training's classroom instructors, and this vehicle really shows off how knowledgable he is about all things hybrid and electric!

9851049-large[1]The Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle, was named World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show in April. 

Last week, the Obama administration struck a deal with automakers to double automobile and light-duty truck mileage by 2025. The proposed standards would require that, starting in 2025, any vehicle sold in the U.S. must average 54.5 miles per gallon—double the current 27 miles per gallon.

While critics of the plan say that the new standards will result in increased car prices, supporters say that the new plan will spur much-needed innovation in the automobile industry. “Automakers need to take major steps to coax buyers into smaller vehicles, cut fuel use with turbochargers and hybrids, slash vehicle weight, and take other measures,” USA Today reported. “Every little step will matter.”

The White House predicts that the new rules will save Americans $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs and will cut imported oil consumption in half.

Owners of hybrid and electric vehicles constantly rave about the savings they get by avoiding the pump, especially with gas prices climbing to over $4.00 a gallon in most states. With these new fuel efficiency standards, automakers will likely turn even more attention to manufacturing affordable hybrid and electric vehicles. However, as more and more hybrid and electric vehicles hitting the road, it will become more and more important for first responders to be properly trained in handling them—and that’s where EV Safety Training comes in.

FlashoverTV is powered by

EV Safety Training Subject matter Expert Jason Emery sat down with the team over at Flashover1 to talk about Electric Vehicle Safety Training. Jason is one of EV Safety Training's classroom instructors, and this vehicle really shows off how knowledgable he is about all things hybrid and electric! Training   
Class attendees check out the brand new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, instructed by Subject Matter Expert Jason Emery.

It was a beautiful day in Massachusetts yesterday, and what better way for the EV Safety Training team to enjoy it than to launch our very first official train-the-trainer session?

Over seventy training officers, department chiefs, and first responders attended the session, which took place at the brand-new Massachusetts Firefighting Academy facility in Stow, MA. Director Ed Walker introduced the training, expressing his excitement at not only receiving the training but also being the first stop of the EV Safety Training national tour. Following Director Walker, NFPA representative Chris Dubay provided some background on the NFPA and the EV Safety Training Project.

The class, led by Subject Matter Experts Jason Emery, Chris Pepler, and Matt Paiss, ran for about eight hours, and included detailed curriculum taught through PowerPoint slides, videos, and interactive scenario discussions, as well as a hands-on portion during which the attendees were able to get up-close and personal with a new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, which was generously lent to us by Hyundai Training Facility in Shrewsbury, MA.

Following the class, students called the instructors “engaging”, “well-informed”, and “easy to understand”, and headed out with their instructor guides and teaching materials to pass on their new information to their departments. What a successful launch of the program!

Look out, New York—we’re heading to you next week!

Itching to take a road trip in a brand new electric vehicle? Here is news that may get you charged up. This week Washington state transportation officials announced their goal of placing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at key intervals along Interstate 5, the West Coast’s busiest highway.

That means, by 2012, EV drivers will be able to drive the 580 miles from the southern border of Oregon to Canada, all without releasing a single carbon emission from their vehicle during the trip. But, more charging stations soon may be on the way. The initial charging station installation is part of the West Coast Green Highway – proposed by the states of Washington, Oregon and California – that would run 1,350 miles from Canada to Mexico.

With the growing number of EV drivers, pulling into a charging station soon may be as common as pulling into a gas station has been for decades. EV drivers will be able to travel farther and without worrying about how many miles they have left.

This announcement also is a sign that more and more of these vehicles soon will be traveling on our nation’s busiest interstates. With more EVs on the road, the likelihood that first responders will face emergency situations involving EVs also increases. That’s why we are working hard with first responders to make sure they are equipped with the knowledge they need to respond without hesitation.

Ask your North American Fire Training Director if they have signed up for NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training. If you haven’t already, you may see an EV coming down the road sooner than you think.

One of the most important things that EV Safety Training’s curriculum for first responders teaches is that hybrid and electric vehicles—even when running!—are silent. While these silent engines could present a danger to first responders, they could also be dangerous to pedestrians, especially those who don’t always take the time to look both ways before crossing the street.

To address this potential hazard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on Thursday that it has proposed sound regulations to protect pedestrians from accidents involving hybrids and electric vehicles. These regulations come in the wake of the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010, which established a standard that requires EVs and hybrids to make some kind of sound to alert pedestrians, but as of yet there are no regulated levels of volume or uniformity in those sounds.

According to the New York Times, The NHTSA plans to survey the impact of any proposed noises on community environments, analyze this feedback, and begin to create regulations by July of 2012. The rule establishing the standards is expected to be published by January of 2014.

What sort of sound do you think electric vehicles should make? Should it be regulated to sound similar to an internal combustion engine, or should it be customizable, like a ringtone? We asked that question on NFPA's Facebook page - and here are some of the responses we got:

  • "Get clothespins and playing cards?"
  • "A buzzing sound works fine , except someone might think its a giant bug and try to smash it lol"
  • "Make it sound like a motorcycle... Ask any biker and they'll tell you.. "Loud Pipes Save Lives"."
  • "A digitized recording that is about as loud as a new auto; it doesn't have to be LOUD but about the same as current vehicles. The recording could be a voice saying "Be careful. An Electric (Tesla, Leaf, Volt) is approaching"

We want to hear from you! Click on the "Comments" link below and tell us what you think an EV should sound like.

- Angela Burke

photo from the Wall Street Journal blog

In an effort to reduce pollution, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city is acquiring 70 electric vehicles to be used by a number of city departments, including 50 Chevrolet Volts. The Volts scheduled to become police patrol cars are likely to receive the most attention, as the Volt will be the first all-electric car used by the New York City police department. “This is the latest and largest-ever addition of electric vehicles to the City’s fleet, which is already the largest municipal clean-air vehicle fleet in the nation,” Bloomberg said.

This new addition puts New York City’s electric-vehicle total at 430. The NYPD already boasts an impressive fleet of clean-fuel vehicles, including the Toyota Prius, Nissan Altima Hybrids, and Ford Fusion Hybrids. New York City also expects to add six Nissan Leafs to the fleet to be used as cabs by the end of this year.

New York’s new electric patrol cars mark the first foray into all-electric vehicles as official first responder cars. If the fire service follows suit—all-electric fire engines, anyone?—it will become even more important for all first responders to be trained in electric vehicle safety.


How long, round trip, is your daily commute? If it’s close to 40 miles, you might want to consider a new car.

On Monday, Chevy Volt marketing director Cristi Landy announced that out of more than two million miles driven by Volt owners, over two thirds of them were powered purely by domestically-produced electricity. “We are hearing from owners…who are able to charge both at home overnight and at work during the day. These owners are able to maximize driving on electricity alone, seeing real savings at the pump and in their wallets.”

For some Volt owners, the power of electricity is having a profound effect on their lives. Kory Levoy, who used to spend up to $200 a month on gas, has filled up his Volt only three times in 7500 miles of driving. Levoy uses his 240-volt home charger to charge the car overnight, and uses a portable 120-volt charger at work to refill the battery. Since his total daily commute is only 50 miles, he has plenty of battery power to make the round trip.

The Chevy Volt can drive up to 40 miles on battery power only on a full charge, at which point the gas engine kicks in. Since the average American only drives about 33 miles a day, the Volt—and other electric vehicles—present a great alternative to internal combustion engine cars, especially with gas prices climbing every day. EV Safety Training is committed to making sure that as electric vehicles become more popular, first responders know how to work with them in case anything ever goes wrong.


Earlier this month, Ford revealed its first all-electric vehicle at a corporate conference in Dearborn, Mich. The release of the Ford Focus Electric 2012 — which is expected to hit the roads later this year — is yet another indication of the rising popularity of electric vehicles. As referenced in a previous post on our blog, Google research estimates that electric, plug-in and hybrid vehicles will dominate the road by 2030.

Last week, the Forbes Green Tech blog posted an article about Ford’s new vehicle and the growing EV marketplace. The post includes a pretty interesting video about Ford’s new and expanding fleet of electric vehicles — including the Ford Focus Electric — and highlights the technology and features of the new vehicles.With this transitioning market, it is imperative that emergency responders shift gears and learn about these new vehicles should they ever be involved in an accident.

NFPA’s electric vehicle project is driving this training initiative and will begin our full state-level “train-the-trainer” sessions in Massachusetts on July 28. Stay tuned for more information about trainings across the country and how to participate in a program near you by visiting  


With recent media releases revealing that the state-run China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) kept a huge oil spill hidden from the public for an entire month, it becomes clearer and clearer every day that electric vehicles are a cleaner alternative transportation option for the future.

CNOOC publicized the spill on Monday, one month after it was detected in the oil field in Bohai Bay on June 4. The Global Times newspaper accused the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) of shielding the oil company from the public outrage that would surely result if the sill was made public.

On Tuesday, ConocoPhillips China issued a statement claiming that after the spill, it had “promptly notified relevant authorities.” The statement continued, “Currently there is no oil sheen in the Bohai Bay operating area; the source of the sheen has been contained and clean-up work is close to completion.”

Greenpeace, however, was not satisfied with the statement, responding that CNOOC had not learned from last year’s oil spill near the port city of Dalian, where 60,000-90,000 tons of crude oil poured into the yellow sea.

These dangerous oil spills overseas are no longer unfamiliar to Americans after the British Petroleum oil spill last April, during which an estimated 140 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.

With man-made environmental disasters like this happening far too frequently due to our dependency on gasoline, it is clear that in order to protect our world we need to start moving towards a better fuel source. Electric vehicles will allow us to do just that, and EV Safety Training is committed to making sure that long before all the cars on the road are electric, first responders will be trained to handle incidents involving this new technology.



Yesterday, announced that electric, plug-in, and hybrid vehicles could make up as many as 90% of cars on the road by 2030. This analysis comes from a study taken on by the philanthropic arm of Google, using McKinsey & Company’s Low Carbon Economics Tool, described by Environmental Leader as “an analytic set of interlinked models that estimates potential economic implications of various policies.” chose the variables, such as policy scenarios, to plug into the tool.

The analysis found that reduced battery costs and increases in energy density could lead to a decrease in electrical vehicle costs to the point where an electric car would be less expensive than a car with an internal combustion engine by 2030. The new, improved, and cheaper EVs would have a range of up to 300 miles on a single charge. reported that should electric vehicles become the large majority of cars on the road, U.S. oil consumption would be reduced by 1.1 billion barrels per year by 2030. (For a reference, that’s about the equivalent of a year’s worth of Canada’s oil production.) New breakthroughs in innovation in clean energy could also create 1.1 million in net jobs, add $155 billion per year in GDP, and reduce household energy costs by $942 per year. Not a bad set of side effects!

With this huge projected increase in EVs on the road, it becomes more and more important for first responders to be able to identify and respond to an EV involved in an accident. EV Safety Training recognizes this need and can’t wait to start distributing our training in July.


- Shelly Shore


!|src=|alt=Austin Pilot (16)|style=width: 450px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;|title=Austin Pilot (16)|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538f80d374970b!First responders check out an electric vehicle at our Austin pilot training session.


Since the announcement of the EV Safety Training project last year, we have been working to develop and perfect a training program to benefit firefighters and first responders across the country. This spring, we conducted pilot trainings in several select markets – and received a great response from those in attendance.

Today, we are excited to announce that several state North American Fire Training Directors have signed up for the full EV Safety Trainings, beginning in July.

The free trainings will be delivered by our team of EV subject matter experts and will allow state fire training agencies to take the information back to fire departments in their respective states. 

To date, we have confirmed trainings and begun scheduling course distribution dates with the following state training agencies, with more confirmations coming every week:

    • Georgia

    • Hawaii

    • Iowa

    • Maryland

    • Massachusetts

    • Montana

    • New York

    • North Dakota

    • Tennessee

    • West Virginia

Don’t see your state on this list? Reach out to your state fire academy today and tell them you would like to participate in the NFPA EV Safety Training. Our goal is, with the help and support of first responders across the country, to help first responders in all 50 states prepare for electric vehicle incidents by the end of 2012.


Stay tuned to this blog and our project website for updates as we confirm additional trainings and details of our official launch at the end of July.

- Andrew Klock


According to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, the US and the European Union are planning to collaborate on setting standards for electric vehicles in an attempt to foster development of environmentally-friendly cars.

De Gucht, who visited Washington D.C. on June 21st to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, said, “The EU and U.S. are about to agree to an ambitious work plan aiming at aligning regulatory issues, standards, and research.” The joint rules, he said, would help the world’s two largest economies “avoid moving into different directions and risk creating new market barriers.”

Bloomberg reports that while details of the collaboration are still in the works and will likely not be released until later this year, a large percentage of the discussion will likely revolve around batteries and motors. The two sides will also likely address the issue of sound. Last December, Congress passed a bill that will require all EVs and hybrids, the engines of which are almost completely silent even when running, be equipped with a “noise maker” to alert nearby pedestrians.

This is great news not only for EV consumers, but also for first responders. Uniform safety codes and standards for hybrid and electric vehicles will make it far easier for first responders to address emergency situations involving such vehicles, as they will not need to be as concerned with variations between models. For more information, check out the full report here. Creating uniform codes and standards for electric vehicles is also the goal of the 2nd Annual  Electric Vehicle Safety Summit, sponsored by SAE and NFPA, which will take place September 27-28, 2011, in Detroit.


- Shelly Shore


Mayor Toni Iseman launches the new Laguna Beach charging station with a Chevrolet Volt.
(Joanna Clay, Coastline Pilot / June 23, 2011)

At least, it can if you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California.

With more and more hybrid and electric vehicles hitting the roads in Laguna Beach, the city has revealed two electric charging stations in support of citizens’ green ambition. The stations, located at Forest Avenue and Broadway parking lot, the stations are free for the first four hours. The city paid for the installation. The equipment itself was paid for by a grant from the United States Department of Energy

Following the big reveal on Tuesday, cars such as Teslas, Nissan Leafs (Leaves? You tell us!) and electric Mini Coopers made the drive up to Laguna Beach to check out the new charging station. Drivers were especially excited. “Usually you get about 50 miles and then you have to go ahead and go back,” said Matt Walton of Ventura, who drives an electric Mini Cooper. “The public infrastructure gives us the ability to extend the reach of the car."

Laguna Beach mayor Toni Iseman was excited about the new development. “Laguna has a reputation of being an environmental community and I think it was important for us to take a leadership role,” she said. “We’re thrilled to have [the charging stations]. It’s not just good for the environment but it’s good for the economy. I just had several people say they can come to Laguna now in their car.”

 With new charging stations popping up every day, EV is excited to be getting closer and closer to our EV Safety Train-the-Trainer launch. If there are going to be chargers all over the country, then educated first responders shouldn’t be far behind!

- Angela Burke

Focus Electric lithium-ion battery packLithium-ion Battery Pack from the Ford Focus Electric

Ford just announced that its Focus Electric lithium-ion battery packs would come with an advanced active liquid-cooling system, to provide its customers some peace of mind during the hot summer months. When charging or being used, the cooling system will use a “chiller” to lower the temperature of coolant going through the battery to keep it from overheating. “If the battery became too hot, we would have to limit the use of energy to protect it. The liquid cooled system allows us to reduce those constraints and get the most out of the battery,” said Dave Fabricatore, team engineer for Thermal Program Management. “We’re helping owners by making sure their battery is always ready to go, regardless of the weather.”

For more information, check out the press release over at PR Newswire.

- Angela Burke

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: