First Responders Race to Keep Up With Emerging Auto Technology
The recent Tesla Model S fire has turned out to have a positive impact on first responders.
Though most of the nation’s first responders have been at least slightly trained in how to deal with electric vehicles fires, the headline-grabbing Model S fire spawned new interest in getting first responders ready for a future EV blaze.
And ready they should be, as plug-in vehicle popularity continues to rise.
The problem is that traditional fire fighting methods don’t always apply to plug-in vehicles.
Water, though the listed method for dealing with lithium fires, is not as effective as some may think. In fact, it took a reported 2.5 hours to extinguish the flaming Model S.
What this shows is that first responders aren’t fully aware of the challenges present in an electric vehicle fire.
Each plug-in vehicle carries with it a specific set of instructions for dealing with emergencies such as the Model S fire.
There are shutdown guidelines laid out, provided that the blaze is well controlled. These procedures must be learned by emergency personnel.
The headline Model S fire has prompted several fire departments to catch up on today’s automotive technology. The problem, according to fire personnel, is that automotive technology evolves so quickly that even they can’t keep pace.
As the Canton Rep points out:
“The Society of Automotive Engineers recommends all firefighters, police and rescue personnel become literate in EVs. This starts with being able to identify that the vehicle is electric. They propose placing standard warning markers on three sides of each EV and near the ignition.”
But, as Ron Moore, a trainer with the National Fire Prevention Association, states:
“It’s an impossible situation. You’re talking a million responders and new cars coming out every six months.”
If it’s truly impossible, then what’s the solution? Force all automakers/ battery manufacturer to standardized a shutdown procedure and to agree upon one method for extinguishing the flames?
Source: Canton Rep