GM is training more first responders for EV emergencies in the US and Canada

GM is training more first responders to handle EV emergencies. The automaker is “significantly” expanding its EV first responder training program in the United States and Canada as EV sales continue to grow. His initiative will primarily focus on training firefighters and equipping them with the necessary knowledge about all-electric vehicle technologies. GM hopes to clear up misconceptions about how to handle electric vehicles in emergency situations. One of those misconceptions is that water around EV batteries is dangerous — it turns out the recommended way to put out lithium-ion battery fires is to use copious amounts of water.

Andrew Klock, senior manager of education and development at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), said: “The best way for public and private vehicle fleet owners to rapidly adopt electric vehicles is to train firefighters and emergency responders how to deal with battery-powered incidents vehicles. Firefighters have had more than 100 years to acquire the knowledge needed to respond to internal combustion engine fires, and it is critical that they are now educated on EV safety.” The NFPA ran its own training courses, of which 300,000 first responders have benefited, but she believes more than 800,000 community members still need more training.

GM previously piloted the program in southeastern Michigan, but now it’s also conducting training events throughout Michigan and in Fort Worth, Texas. Later this summer, it’s bringing the program to metro New York City and Southern California. Participants must attend four-hour sessions, with up to two per day, held at various locations such as fire stations and dealerships. Interested first and second responders can register through the program’s dedicated website and earn a certificate from the Illinois Fire Service Institute if they achieve more than 70 percent on the learner assessment at the end of their training.

The automaker already has a few EV models on the market, including the Chevy Bolts, the GMC Hummer EV, and the Cadillac Lyriq. However, it has big plans for the electrification future, and training assistants could help make potential customers more receptive to the EV switch. GM plans to launch 30 EV models by 2025 and sell exclusively EVs 10 years later.

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