New Emergency Response Required for Electric Vehicles

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2012 - Today's emergency responders are facing unexpected challenges as new uses of alternative energy increase. These renewable power sources save on the use of conventional fuels such as petroleum and other fossil fuels, but they also introduce unfamiliar hazards that require new fire fighting strategies and procedures.

Among these alternative energy uses are motor vehicles that utilize electric drive propulsion systems. This study focuses on electric drive and hybrid electric vehicles intended for roadway passenger use, and describes the variety of safety issues that these relatively new vehicles may present involving fire and/or rescue emergency situations either on the roadway or at charging/docking stations (e.g., garages).

The safety of fire fighters and other emergency first responder personnel depends on
understanding and properly handling these hazards through adequate training and preparation.

Amongst the new challenges facing the U.S. fire service is the changing nature of emergency response to incidents where alternative energy sources are in use. The term alternative energy describes any of the various renewable power sources that used in place of conventional fuels such as petroleum and other fossil fuels.1

The fire service has identified a number of areas of particular concern with respect to hazard mitigation and emergency response in these scenarios. As the use of alternative energy proliferates, it introduces new and unexpected hazards that confront and challenge responders in an emergency.

Some fire service organizations are in the process of developing recommended emergency response procedures and best practices on a local or regional basis; in other jurisdictions basic information on the hazard and appropriate response is lacking or not currently available. This project will take a comprehensive national look at the needs of the fire service for credible information and best practices in order to address these topics for first responders and provide an overall coordinated perspective on this topic.

For a complete report on this topic follow the link below.


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