GM is expanding its efforts to educate public safety, fire and emergency service providers throughout the United States and Canada as EV sales grow.
The company’s latest EV First Responder Training program will focus primarily on personnel in fire services, providing instruction and sharing of best practices on how to most effectively support emergency situations involving electric vehicles, like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and Cadillac LYRIQ.
This program though directly focused on responders, also benefits drivers involved in incidents, where every second matters, and is a continuation of GM-led education efforts that began more than a decade ago with the introduction of the revolutionary Chevrolet Volt. With plans to have the capacity to build more than one million EVs by 2025, GM continues to ramp investments in the ecosystem that will enable mass adoption and support those who play a vital role in the responsible deployment of electrified technology.
“Our primary goal is to provide key information directly to first and second responders,” said Joe McLaine, GM global product safety and systems engineer, and leader of the training effort. “This training offers unique material and hands-on experiences that can help increase responders’ awareness of procedures to help maintain safety while interacting with EVs during the performance of their duties.”
GM’s EV First Responder Training effort is an education and outreach program designed to offer emergency responders key information about battery electric vehicle technology, dispel misconceptions and share important industry best practices for handling electric and electrified (hybrid) vehicles safely in multiple situations. For example, many people believe water is dangerous around an EV battery, when in fact a large volume of water is the recommended method to suppress a lithium-ion battery fire. This program will be divided into both live presentations and other training formats, including combinations of expert presentations, videos, animations and virtual demonstrations.
“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,” said Andrew Klock, senior manager of education and development at the National Fire Protection Association. “The fire service has had more than 100 years to gain the knowledge needed to respond to internal combustion engine fires, and it is critical that they are now educated on EV safety.”
GM is also dedicated to teaching first and second responders how to approach an emergency scene with as much information as possible, including information from OnStar’s available Automatic Crash Response and Injury Severity Prediction.