By Jason Emery
As the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) continues to grow, it's important for first responders to understand what informational resources are available to them. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is leading the way by compiling information in one easy location at www.evsafetytraining.org.
One of the best sources of information is the vehicle's emergency response guides as prepared by the manufacturers. These are all available for download as PDFs on the site's resource page. Additionally, the NFPA is in the process of creating Emergency Field Guides (EFGs) for each of these vehicles. These field guides are designed to be single-page, double-sided "quick reference" guide covering critical information needed in a response. Add your name to their mailing list to find out when they are released. Joining the mailing list will also keep you up to date on industry information through their monthly newsletter.
If you are looking for more in depth information on electric and hybrid vehicles be sure to take a look at their research page, which has numerous reports on topics ranging from the annual EV safety standards summit to information on the use of high strength steel and the potential obstacle it poses to extrication operations.
For those of you interested in participating in training, the online program designed around the Chevrolet Volt is exactly what you are looking for. This highly interactive training scenario will teach you everything there is to know on responding to incidents involving the Volt. With more than 20,000 people trained since October 2010, it is one of the more popular resources on the site. The NFPA is also putting the finishing touches on the online version of their electric and hybrid vehicle safety training program. Stay tuned for more information on its official release date.
These are just a few pieces of information available on the Web site. Please feel free to explore the site and look at all of the valuable resources available as the NFPA continues to make this a one-stop shop for everything first responders need to know on the subject. If you have any questions about hybrids or EVs, don't hesitate to reach out using their contact page, they would be happy to assist you.
JASON EMERY, a 21-year veteran of the fire service, is a lieutenant with the Waterbury (CT) Fire Department, where he is assigned to the rescue/hazmat company. He has a BS in fire science from the University of New Haven and is a member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. He is a subject matter expert for the National Fire Protection Association, a member of its development team, and the lead instructor for its Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Training program. He founded Emergency Training Solutions, designed the PowerPoint® materials for Fire Engineering's Handbook for Firefighter I & II, and is a contributing author to the soon-to-be published Company Officer Handbook from Fire Engineering.
Blog content from the NFPA'swww.evsafetytraining.org Electric Vehicle Safety Training website. For more information on hybrid and electric vehicles visit