NFPA launches expanded electric vehicle training for the fire service

New course provides training on advanced electric drive trucks, buses and commercial fleet and fuel cell vehicles

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October 8, 2014 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced its expanded, free online training for the fire service: Electric/Hybrid/Fuel Cell Safety Course for Trucks, Buses, and Commercial Fleet Vehicles. The new course provides response training for incidents involving these advanced electric drive vehicles and builds on NFPA’s electric vehicle (EV) training program that focuses on electric and hybrid passenger vehicles.  

Estimates point to more than 13 million electric/hybrid vehicles on the world's roadways within five years. To help emergency responders handle the unique challenges presented by this new technology across vehicle types, NFPA developed the new training as a second course following its passenger vehicle training: Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Safety for Emergency Responders Online Course. In approximately four hours, the two self-paced programs train responders through engaging videos, animations, simulations, and review exercises.  

“Our initial EV training course has been very successful in training the fire service in handling electric and hybrid passenger vehicle incidents,” said Andrew Klock, NFPA’s senior project manager in Training Development. “The fire service requested that NFPA expand its training to other types of vehicles. So, we’ve carried that knowledge and experience into the new training, to help the fire service be prepared in responding to situations with electrified trucks, buses and commercial fleet vehicles.”  

The new online curriculum covers high voltage vehicle and safety systems, basic electrical concepts and identification techniques for electric, hybrid and the latest fuel cell vehicles. The course also covers immobilization and power-down procedures, extrication challenges, current recommended practices and tactics for dealing with vehicle and battery fires and incidents involving charging stations. 

Upon completion of five modules, emergency responders will be able to: 

  • Safely conduct emergency scene size-up and management
  • Identify an electric, hybrid and fuel cell truck, bus, fleet or passenger vehicle
  • Effectively immobilize the vehicle for scene safety
  • Disable the vehicle's High Voltage and SRS systems
  • Conduct occupant rescue more safely
  • Execute EV recovery and disposal safely

 NFPA is the ANSI-accredited national codes and standards developer for emergency responder qualifications, equipment, and tactics, as well as the codes and standards developer for vehicle fueling. NFPA’s National Electrical Code® (NEC®) has established standards for electric vehicle charging stations, electrified truck parking spaces, and the impact of EV charging infrastructures on power consumption and emergency responders. NFPA 2, Hydrogen Technologies CodeNFPA 30A, Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and NFPA 52, Vehicular Gaseous Fuel Systems Code define our nation’s standards on vehicle gaseous fuel systems design and installation—including hydrogen, CNG, LNG, and LPG—and the dispensing facilities codes that coincide with these gases.

About NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training Project
NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training project is a nationwide program designed to help the fire service prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road in the United States. The NFPA project, funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency, Assistance to Firefighters grant that provides first responders with information they need to most effectively deal with potential emergency situations involving high voltage vehicles.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275