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Responding to Electric or Hybrid Vehicle Incidents

with Gary Austin
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FREE Training Opportunity:

The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) is offering a limited number of firefighter scholarships to obtain FREE online Electric Drive Vehicle First Responder Safety Training that will be available until February 8, 2014.

The NAFTC’s award-winning Electric Drive Vehicle First Responder Safety Training online course will equip firefighters with the knowledge they need to safely respond to automotive incidents involving electric drive vehicles, including:

   •   Hybrid Electric Vehicles
   •   Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
   •   Battery Electric Vehicles
   •   Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Participants in the self-paced Electric Drive Vehicle First Responder Safety Training online course will learn about different electric drive vehicle configurations and their built-in safety systems, how to identify an electric drive vehicle at an accident scene, battery technologies, electric vehicle systems, and how to approach, assess, and secure advanced electric drive vehicles. Participants will also complete online modules for personal protective equipment and gear, crash and fire, and extrication.

This course takes place completely online and does not require classroom participation. A certificate can be printed by the student upon successful completion of the course.

For more information and to register, please visit

Login information will be emailed to participants after completing an online registration form. Please allow up to three business days to receive your credentials.

Additional information on the NAFTC’s First Responder Safety Training offerings, including our first responder classroom offerings and free alternative fuel vehicle phone app, can be found at our web site:

Scholarships for this online training are provided free of charge as part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Fire Prevention & Safety Grant #EMW-2011-FP-00637. Please contact Laura Tinney at or (304) 293 - 7882, extension 121, for more information.

Additional articles and resources:

Facing a Wrecked Electric Vehicle, What Must EMS Staff Know?

Jun 3, 2010

There are distinct differences between electric and gas powered cars which must be taken into account when providing crash assistance. For a start, electric vehicles operate at very high voltages. An electric shock caused by an accident damaged EV can kill, spark with enough voltage to ignite any stray gasoline, or start a fire in the battery or car itself.

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Did you know that there are nearly 30 different hybrid models on the road today?
Are you ready to respond to a motor vehicle incident involving a hybrid?
Are your members aware of the unique dangers surrounding these vehicles and how to minimize the risk to both themselves and victims?
Are your personnel familiar with the new types of occupant protection systems found in vehicles and how to handle them?
ETS offers a comprehensive Hybrid Vehicle Response Program designed specifically for Emergency Responders.

January 1, 2008

It is clear that hybrid vehicles should not be ignored by the emergency services community. In fact, some industry estimates place 5.2 million hybrid vehicles on the road by 2011 with over 50 models available to consumers by 2012. While hybrids do present certain new risks to emergency responders, proper education and training can minimize those concerns. If a department has proper response procedures in place for handling standard vehicle accidents, many of the precautions remain the same. SOPs, however, should be updated to include specific information on responding to incidents involving hybrid vehicles.

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