The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has received a $225,000 grant from General Motors to deliver its electric vehicle (EV) training for free to 12,000 volunteer and underserved fire departments throughout the US. The funding comes at a critical time, as more EVs continue to enter the roadways, but many fire departments remain untrained in effectively mitigating associated incidents.
‘While firefighters have had more than 100 years to learn how to handle incidents with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, they’ve had very little time to understand and train for those involving EV and hybrid vehicles,’ said Andrew Klock, emerging issues lead manager at NFPA. ‘As electric vehicles increasingly dominate our roads in the coming years, ensuring that fire departments are adequately trained and equipped to deal with them is critically important.’
A 2020 report published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) states that the US fire service is not prepared to fight electric vehicle fires. This issue is more prevalent among volunteer and underserved departments, which often don’t have the resources to receive the needed training; about two-thirds (67%) of US fire departments are served by part-time or volunteer firefighters, according to NFPA data.
Through the General Motors grant, NFPA will work in coordination with US fire service organizations and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities Coalitions to conduct outreach among targeted audiences to maximize participation in the NFPA Electric Vehicle Safety training programme, which will be provided online at no cost for one year.
‘Providing free access to our training plays a pivotal role in helping ensure that volunteer and underserved fire departments are adequately trained and prepared to handle EV incidents,’ said Klock. ‘Thanks to General Motors’ generous support, we’ll be able to provide the needed training to thousands of fire departments that otherwise would not be able to access it.’
For more information, go to www.nfpa.org