As ever, the solution is education.
General Motors says it's expanding its efforts to educate first responders. As you should know by now, electric vehicle fires are dangerous. And with GM's portfolio of EVs now rapidly expanding across several brands, with models like the Silverado EV and Cadillac Lyriq, the brand knows that these accidents will become more common.
The new EV First Responder Training is, of course, focused on educating fire and EMS, providing instruction and best practices on how to best manage an emergency situation involving an electric vehicle. Ideally, police officers will also be educated, as they are often some of the first ones to the scene of an accident.
"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 leader of the training effort. "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."
The training is designed to offer responders key info about EV technology, as well as dispel misconceptions surrounding EVs and Hybrids in accidents. GM gives the example of water and batteries. Many think that water near an EV battery is a bad thing, but the best thing you can do is drown the battery. A large volume of water is exactly how to put out a lithium-ion battery fire.
Of course, all that doesn't really mean much if the only people benefitting are local FDs and PDs. As such, the events that will educate responders will travel after pilot events in Southeast Michigan. Those will be followed by more events in Michigan, as well as in SoCal, New York, and Fort Worth, Texas later this summer. The key here, admittedly, is trickle-down.
The traveling circus of EV safety will also hit the International Association of Fire Cheifs' Fire-Rescue International Conference (they need an acronym) in San Antonio, as well as the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis in April next year. Those two events are arguably the most important, seeing as the practices taught by GM will trickle down to departments across the country.