NFPA has received a $225K grant from General Motors to deliver free online electric vehicle training to 12,000 volunteer and underserved U.S. fire departments
NFPA has received a $225,000 grant from General Motors to deliver its electric vehicle (EV) training for free to 12,000 volunteer and underserved fire departments throughout the U.S. The funding comes at a critical time, as more EVs continue to enter the roadways but many fire departments remain untrained in effectively mitigating associated incidents.
“While firefighters have had more than 100 years to learn how to handle incidents with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, they’ve had very little time to understand and train for those involving EV and hybrid vehicles,” said Andrew Klock, emerging issues lead manager at NFPA. “As electric vehicles increasingly dominate our roads in the coming years, ensuring that fire departments are adequately trained and equipped to deal with them is critically important.”
A 2020 report published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) states that the U.S. fire service is not prepared to fight electric vehicle fires. This issue is more prevalent among volunteer and underserved departments, which often don’t have the resources to receive the needed training; about two-thirds (67 percent) of U.S. fire departments are served by part-time or volunteer firefighters, according to NFPA data.
Through the General Motors grant, NFPA will work in coordination with U.S. fire service organizations and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities Coalitions to conduct outreach among targeted audiences to maximize participation in the NFPA Electric Vehicle Safety training program, which will be provided online at no cost for one year. Fire departments that would like to register for the course can do so via the NFPA catalog and apply this coupon code: gmev1 (not case sensitive).
“Providing free access to our training plays a pivotal role in helping ensure that volunteer and underserved fire departments are adequately trained and prepared to handle EV incidents,” said Klock. “Thanks to General Motors’ generous support, we’ll be able to provide the needed training to thousands of fire departments that otherwise would not be able to access it.”
NFPA is an ANSI-accredited national codes and standards developer for emergency responder qualifications, equipment, and tactics. Over the past 12 years, the association has worked to develop and refine its EV safety program in collaboration with NTSB, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the National Highway and Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST), and numerous national research laboratories. These and associated efforts have earned NFPA widespread recognition among the major fire service organizations in North America as the leading EV safety training program for first responders.
NFPA also serves on the SAE J2990 Committee for EV Safety and continues to engage with the U.S. DOE, DOT, and NHTSA to conduct testing and determine new methods to combat EV incidents.