First Response: Chevrolet, OnStar to Train First Response Crews on EVs

The advent of electric cars may lead to a cleaner future, but it also poses new problems for safety crews: the possibility of electric shock. In order to prevent the electrocution of a member of first response team, Chevrolet and OnStar have teamed up to provide training on how to react to a crash with an electric vehicle using the 2011 Chevrolet Volt as an example vehicle.

This new technology will require emergency crews to respond in different ways than with a typical internal combustion engine.

Technological changes in the automotive industry require changes in fire and emergency service operations as well,” said Chief Jack Parow, first vice president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “The IAFC is proud to work with Chevrolet and OnStar to ensure that fire responders are adequately trained on how to work with the new technology, both for their own safety and the safety of those they serve.”

For this reason, Chevrolet and OnStar will hold the electric vehicle response training in markets slated to get the first Volts -- Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C -- along with a few others. The training sessions will include where the automatic electrical shut-off is, how to shut the electricity off manually, cut points for extraction, points to avoid cutting, and first responder labeling. Additionally, Chevrolet and OnStar are preparing training materials that will be available on the tour and on a Web site for departments unable to make the training sessions.

The training sessions will begin August 23 in Chicago at the IAFC’s Fire-Rescue International Conference. The program will then continue its tour to the four markets scheduled to get the Volt later this year. Training will be concluded before the Volt goes on sale.

Source: GM

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