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Fire Fighter Safety and Emergency Response for Electric Drive and Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Posted by Firestation en 08/08/2011

As the use of alternative energy proliferates, the fire service has identified a number of areas of concern with hazard mitigation and emergency response. This includes electric and hybrid electric vehicles, which are introducing new and unexpected hazards to fire fighters and other emergency responders.

The goal of this report is to assemble and disseminate best practice information for fire fighters and fireground incident commanders to assist in their decision making process for handling electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Specifically, this study focuses on vehicles intended for roadway passenger use involving fire and/or rescue emergency situations, either on the roadway or at charging/docking stations (e.g., garages). The project deliverables will be in the form of a written report, which will include best practices that can serve as the basis for training program development by others.

The deliverables for this project collectively review the available baseline information, identify the fundamental principles and key details involving fire/rescue tactics and strategy, provide a summary of core basics, and address and clarify related issues such as training needs, areas needing further research, revisions to codes/standards, and other applicable topics.

A companion study to this report focuses on solar power systems rather than electric and hybrid electric vehicles (Fire Fighter Safety and Emergency Response for Solar Power Systems, FPRF). This has taken an identical approach and focuses on assembling and disseminating best practice information for fire fighters and fireground incident commanders to assist in their decision making process. This companion report addresses buildings and other structures with solar power systems that are intended to supply power to the respective structure, with a primary focus on solar photovoltaic panels used for electric power generation.

This overall initiative (consisting of the reports on Electric Drive and Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Solar Power Systems) is funded through a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

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