Mass Firefighting Academy and NFPA to host electric vehicle safety training for firefighters

Published on July 27, 2011
July 27, 2011— The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will host the first official, state-level electric vehicle safety training at the state fire academy on Thursday, July 28.

The training session—which is part of NFPA’s nationwide Electric Vehicle Safety Training Project—will provide Massachusetts firefighters with information on how to most effectively deal with emergency situations involving extended-range electric vehicles. Massachusetts is the first state to take part in the “train-the-trainer” session and will use the information to train firefighters and first responders across the state.

Stephen D. Coan, Massachusetts state fire marshal and head of the Department of Fire Services, said he is proud that Massachusetts is the first state to provide this training to its first responders.

“Our firefighters have always adapted their response to new types of vehicles and technologies,” Coan said. “We are pleased to work with NFPA to provide this invaluable training opportunity to prepare our first responders and better protect the public.”

NFPA trainers and subject matter experts will cover a range of topics specific to electric vehicles such as the extrication process, risk of electric shock, handling new types of batteries and challenges presented by charging stations.

The course will also feature a live training demo involving the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. Participants will be able to view the vehicle, with a first-hand overview of new technologies and appropriate cut points.

James M. Shannon, NFPA President, said such training is crucial as the number of advanced electric vehicles on the road continues to grow.

“With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, it is important to know that first responders are prepared and ready to respond,” Shannon said. “The training session will give first responders an opportunity to get accustomed to these vehicles and reassure the public that first responders know what to do in emergency situations involving electric vehicles.”

The session consists of eight hours of classroom and hands-on training and each participant will receive a training manual specific to electric vehicles. Course participants receive a Certificate of Completion at the conclusion of the course.

For more information about the electric vehicle training series, and to register for upcoming sessions, visit: 

About the state Department of Fires Services (DFS)
The State Fire Marshal heads the Department of Fire Services, the sole agency within Massachusetts state government responsible for overall coordination of fire service policy and operations. The mission of the Department of Fire Services is to provide the people of Massachusetts the ability to create safer communities through coordinated training, education, prevention, investigation, emergency response and leadership. The training division, known as the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, provides training to municipal firefighters at no cost to the local community and certifies fire service personnel in the Commonwealth. It was established in 1971 and offers several training classes, including a 12-week recruit program.

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 grant 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.

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. 

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Lorraine Carli, National Fire Protection Association, +1 617 984-7275
Jennifer Mieth, Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, Public Education Manager, +1 978 567-3333