NFPA collaborates with Chevrolet and OnStar to provide Electric Vehicle Safety Training

Published on August 26, 2010

Electric vehicle extrication demo held at Fire-Rescue International Show in Chicago 

Electric vehicle extrication demo
The demonstration conducted using a 2011 Chevrolet Volt was staged outside McCormack Place in Chicago. Narrated by Ron Moore and conducted by members of the Chicago Fire Department, the demonstration showed a capacity audience locations of high-strength steel and cut points for extrication.

August 26, 2010 — The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today announced a joint effort with Chevrolet and OnStar as NFPA provides electric vehicle safety training for first responders to the scene of an accident. The announcement was made at the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Fire-Rescue International Conference in Chicago where Chevrolet and OnStar demonstrated safety techniques on the all-new 2011 Chevrolet Volt – an electric vehicle with extended-range that will be on sale late this year.

The collaboration with Chevrolet and OnStar stems from an electric vehicle safety training initiative NFPA is developing to support the growing number of electric vehicles in the United States. The NFPA initiative, funded by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, will include a series of electric vehicle emergency response safety programs available to first responders. The training programs will provide first responders with information they need to most effectively deal with emergency situations involving electric vehicle technology.

NFPA will be reaching out to other auto manufacturers in an effort to include vehicle-specific information in training as more electric vehicles enter the marketplace.

“With the Chevrolet Volt and other electric vehicles about to hit the streets, it is important to know that first responders are trained and ready to respond,” said Andrew Klock, NFPA’s senior project manager for this initiative. “First responders have a long history of successfully adapting their response to new automotive technologies in order to protect the public as well as themselves. We are excited to be working collaboratively with Chevrolet and OnStar to combine their knowledge of the vehicle with our leadership in emergency response preparation.”

“This collaboration gives us an opportunity to extend our electric vehicle training and education program giving our nation’s first responders a platform to learn more about this new era of automotive transportation,” said Chevrolet Safety Director Gay Kent. “We’re excited to be working with NFPA and other public safety organizations to help first responders understand electric vehicles in the event of a crash or other emergency.”

The collaboration with Chevrolet and OnStar includes the co-development of safety resources, including web-based training materials, vehicle extrication video and shared resources for instructor-led safety presentations. NFPA will be developing training and course curriculum to ensure that first responders know how to respond to incidents involving electric vehicles.

At the IAFC Conference, Chevrolet and OnStar hosted a three-hour training session that included a vehicle extrication demonstration featuring the Volt. Experts highlighted key points for first responders, including locations of high-strength steel and cut points for extrication. The extrication demonstration will be videotaped and made available for reference on the NFPA Electric Vehicle Safety Training website.

NFPA is currently developing training materials and course curriculum for the full safety training program. Trainings will be available in the first quarter of 2011. For more information and resources about NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training, visit www.evsafetytraining.org.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international, nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.

About NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training Project
NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training project is a nationwide program to help firefighters and other first responders prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road in the United States. The NFPA project, funded by a $4.4 million an American Recovery and Reinvestment Actgrant from the U.S. Department of Energy, provides first responders with information they need to most effectively deal with potential emergency situations involving electric vehicles. Visit the Electric Vehicle Safety Training project website.

About Chevrolet
Chevrolet is a global automotive brand, with annual sales of about 3.5 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. In the U.S., the Chevrolet portfolio includes: iconic performance cars, such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long lasting pickups and SUVs, such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers, such as Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly" solutions, such as the upcoming 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco model that is expected to deliver up to an estimated 40 mpg highway, and 2011 Chevrolet Volt that will offer up to 40 miles of electric driving and an additional 300 miles of extended range with the onboard generator (based on GM testing).  Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security, and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response, and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found on the Chevrolet website. 

About OnStar
OnStar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and communication services. OnStar is available on more than 30 MY 2010 GM models. OnStar is standard for one year on nearly all new GM retail vehicles in the United States and Canada. OnStar provides services to more than 5.7 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd., a joint venture between OnStar, LLC, Shanghai Automotive Industry Sales Co., Ltd. and Shanghai General Motors, provides services in China. More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com. OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is a recipient of the 2010 Edison Award for Best New Product in the technology category. Visit OnStar’s website. 

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