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November 11, 2014

New NFPA Program Helps Prepare Responders for Electric Truck, Bus and Commercial Vehicle Hazards

Electric Vehicle Charging StationNon-gasoline based fueling is becoming more prevalent on our roadways, and shows no signs of slowing down. Whether electric, hybrid or fuel-cell based, the new technologies bring with them new challenges for first responders arriving on the scene of transportation emergencies. Last month, this compelled the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to expand its training offered in the arena of electric vehicle (EV) safety.

Online training in the EV program now includes material on trucks, buses and commercial vehicles with electric technology to supplement offerings that cover EV passenger vehicles. The new multi-media courses cover a wide range of topics. Much of the focus is geared toward enabling responders to:

  • Assess situations involving any large vehicle on the road equipped with electric technology
  • Execute the most effective rescues possible in these emergencies
  • Neutralize additional potential endangerment and damage electric vehicles could cause via power down procedures
  • Deal with vehicle and battery fires as well as charging station incidents

To accomplish this, the curriculum covers high voltage vehicle and safety systems, basic electrical concepts, extrication challenges and technology identification. The addition to the program is being offered at the request of the fire service, and is free of charge to their members.

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