Electric vehicles pose new problems for emergency responders

Words and photos courtesy
General Motors Co.

Chevrolet has joined with OnStar and leading national first-responder organizations to announce the first automotive manufacturer-sponsored training program to educate first responders nationwide on electric vehicle technology.

The announcement was jointly made at the San Francisco Fire Department with leaders of Chevrolet, OnStar, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).

“Technological changes in the automotive industry require changes in fire and emergency service operations as well,” said Chief Jack Parow, first vice president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. “The IAFC is proud to work with Chevrolet and OnStar to ensure that fire responders are adequately trained in how to work with the new technology,
both for their own safety and the safety of those they serve.”

The training sessions will feature the Chevrolet Volt and will begin
at the IAFC’s Fire-Rescue International Conference,
Aug. 23-27 in Chicago.

Last year OnStar filed for its 500th patent.
The technology in the patent seeks to
utilize the OnStar system to notify first
responders approaching an alternative
fuel vehicle after a crash of the type
of propulsion used in the vehicle.
High-voltage systems and
unconventional fuels are often
associated with alternative propulsion
vehicles and pose special challenges
to first responders.

The Chevrolet Volt has extensive use of high strength steel in the body structure in order to achieve segment-leading safety performance.