GM Launches EV First Responders Program

DETROIT – General Motors has launched a new electric-vehicle first responders program that the company says significantly expands efforts to educate public safety, fire and emergency service providers throughout the United States and Canada about EVs.

The EV First Responder Training program will focus primarily on personnel in fire services, providing instruction and best practices on how to most effectively support emergency situations involving electric vehicles.

This program also benefits drivers involved in incidents and is a continuation of GM-led education efforts that began more than a decade ago with the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt.

GM projects it will have the capacity to build more than 1 million EVs by 2025.

“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 initiative is an education and outreach program designed to provide emergency responders key information about battery electric vehicle technology, dispel misconceptions and share important industry best practices for handling electric and electrified hybrid vehicles safely in multiple situations.

This program will be divided into both live presentations and other training formats, including combinations of expert presentations, videos, animations and virtual demonstrations.

“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 at the National Fire Protection Association.

The NFPA has led its own education efforts around EVs with 300,000 first responders but estimates there are more than 800,000 additional members of the community that need further training.

Pilot events that have taken place in southeast Michigan, while future training and outreach events will expand across Michigan and in Fort Worth, Texas followed by metro New York City and Southern California later this summer, the company said. First and second responders can go to gmEVFirstResponderTraining.com to learn more.

Training stops include:

  • The International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Fire-Rescue International conference in San Antonio from Aug. 24-26.
  • The Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis from April 24-29 in 2023.

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