Electric vehicle safety training brings participants from across New Mexico

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The National Fire Protection Association, along with the New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy, hosted an electric vehicle safety training session for New Mexico first responders on Jan. 31 at the academy in Socorro.

The course, which is part of NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training Project, provides first responders from across the state with the necessary information to respond to emergencies involving electric and hybrid vehicles.

The training was developed to address the growing number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads today. The state-level, train-the-trainer course began touring state training systems in the summer of 2011, preparing first responders at more than 50 trainings across the country.

In addition to the information and resources available at the training session, participants can use what they have learned to prepare other first responders throughout the state.

“One of the most important and regularly utilized skills a first responder must have is the ability to safely respond to motor vehicle accidents,” said Joel Domschot, New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy coordinator. “Just as first responders learn the proper techniques with typical combustion engine vehicles, they must do the same with electric and hybrid cars. NFPA’s training will teach them the important differences they must consider when arriving upon the scene of an accident.”

The training featured a live training demonstration involving a Ford Fusion hybrid provided by Monette Ford. Participants were able to experience firsthand the technologies and special features included in the new vehicle, such as battery locations and extrication cut-points.

According to NFPA President James M. Shannon, standardized electric vehicle education is critical to emergency training for first responders across the country.

During the eight-hour course, instructor Matt Paiss covered a variety of topics specific to both hybrid and electric vehicles, including the extrication process, risk of electric shock, handling new types of batteries and challenges presented by charging stations.

For more information about the electric vehicle training series, including access to the newly released online training course and emergency field guild, visit www.evsafetytraining.org.