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As EV Adoption Accelerates, GM Expands EV First Responder Training Efforts in U.S. and Canada


GM Expands First Responder Training for EV Accidents, Fires

As EV adoption accelerates, General Motors is expanding its EV first responder training programs throughout the US and Canada.

We say it over and over again on these pages: thousands of internal-combustion cars catch fire every year, and never make the news. A single electric car catches fire? It’s everywhere – but that kind of FUD-spreading press leads to misinformation, and not just among the general public, but first responder  agencies, as well. That’s where GM comes in.

GM’s latest EV First Responder Training program will focus primarily on fire departments – who are often the first on the scene of major accidents – and teach best practices on how to most effectively support emergency situations involving electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt, GMC HUMMER EV, and Cadillac LYRIQ (among others).

“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 head of the expanded program. “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.”

While the program is directly focused on the first responder, it also benefits any EV drivers involved in serious accidents where every second matters, and is a continuation of company-led education that began more than a decade ago with the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.

GM plans to build more than 1 million EVs per year by 2025, and continues to invest in an EV charging “ecosystem” that will help to enable mass  EV adoption and support those agencies that provide vital services in the responsible rollout of electrified technology.

First Responder With ‘Jaws of Life’

A firefighter from the Illinois Fire Service Institute demonstrates occupant extraction best practices for EVs by cutting interior structural components of a GMC HUMMER EV Pickup. First responders are being taught to look out for orange-colored wiring that indicates high voltage.

“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,” says 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 hosted successful pilot events already throughout southeast Michigan, ad has plans to expand training across Michigan and Fort Worth, Texas , followed by sessions in metro New York City and Southern California this summer. First responders who are interested in receiving more instruction are invited to visit to learn more.


Source | Images: GM.

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Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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