NFPA collaborates with Chevrolet and OnStar to provide electric vehicle safety training
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced a joint effort with Chevrolet and OnStar as NFPA provides electric vehicle safety training for first responders to the scene of an accident. The announcement was made at the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Fire-Rescue International Conference in Chicago where Chevrolet and OnStar demonstrated safety techniques on the all-new 2011 Chevrolet Volt – an electric vehicle with extended-range that will be on sale late this year.
The collaboration with Chevrolet and OnStar stems from an electric vehicle safety training initiative NFPA is developing to support the growing number of electric vehicles in the United States. The NFPA initiative, funded by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, will include a series of electric vehicle emergency response safety programs available to first responders. The training programs will provide first responders with information they need to most effectively deal with emergency situations involving electric vehicle technology.
NFPA will be reaching out to other auto manufacturers in an effort to include vehicle-specific information in training as more electric vehicles enter the marketplace.
“With the Chevrolet Volt and other electric vehicles about to hit the streets, it is important to know that first responders are trained and ready to respond,” said Andrew Klock, NFPA’s senior project manager for this initiative. “First responders have a long history of successfully adapting their response to new automotive technologies in order to protect the public as well as themselves. We are excited to be working collaboratively with Chevrolet and OnStar to combine their knowledge of the vehicle with our leadership in emergency response preparation.”
“This collaboration gives us an opportunity to extend our electric vehicle training and education program giving our nation’s first responders a platform to learn more about this new era of automotive transportation,” said Chevrolet Safety Director Gay Kent. “We’re excited to be working with NFPA and other public safety organizations to help first responders understand electric vehicles in the event of a crash or other emergency.”
The collaboration with Chevrolet and OnStar includes the co-development of safety resources, including web-based training materials, vehicle extrication video and shared resources for instructor-led safety presentations. NFPA will be developing training and course curriculum to ensure that first responders know how to respond to incidents involving electric vehicles.
At the IAFC Conference, Chevrolet and OnStar hosted a three-hour training session that included a vehicle extrication demonstration featuring the Volt. Experts highlighted key points for first responders, including locations of high-strength steel and cut points for extrication. The extrication demonstration will be videotaped and made available for reference on the NFPA Electric Vehicle Safety Training website.
NFPA is currently developing training materials and course curriculum for the full safety training program. Training will be available in the first quarter of 2011.
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