GM will expand its training for first responders in the United States and Canada, providing fire services personnel instruction on how to support emergency situations involving current electric vehicles like the Chevy Bolt EV and GMC Hummer EV.
GM’s EV First Responder Training effort includes live presentations and other training formats like expert presentations, videos, animations and virtual demonstrations. The automaker has already hosted pilot events in southeast Michigan and has plans to expand its outreach to more regions in Michigan, as well as Fort Worth, Texas, New York City and Southern California. GM EV First Responder Training personnel will also be on hand at the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Fire-Rescue International conference in San Antonio this coming August and the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis in April of 2023.
GM says its EV-focused training program will include materials and curriculum developed with active members of public safety communities, delivered over a four-hour block of instruction. The program will also visit multiple venues including fire houses, training academies, regional learning centers and vehicle dealerships. The coursework for the training sessions will be accounted for by a Certificate of Educational Achievement for first responders, while a Certificate of Completed Training through the Illinois Fire Service Institute will also be available to participants who complete a hands-on training course.
The National Fire Protection Association has already trained roughly 300,000 first responders on similar EV guidelines, but estimates there are a further 800,000 in the country who still need instruction.
“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,” said Andrew Klock, senior manager of education and development for the NFPA. “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.”