Emergency responders are learning how to extract someone from a wrecked plug-in Chevy Volt.

Second EV Safety Summit Announced

The first one held last year identified three areas in need of action plans. One of them was training for emergency responders, and that is well under way.

Emergency responders who might be called to a crash scene involving an electric vehicle have more training resources available now to learn about those vehicles' hazards, including potentially fatal electrical charges and airbags. Chevrolet, NFPA, and OnStar have teamed to launch online training about the Chevy Volt, including an Emergency Response Guide and an Emergency Responder Quick Reference Guide that shows where responders should not cut and a yellow tag marking a low-voltage battery cable that can be cut safely.

On May 17, ANSI held a two-hour kickoff call for a new Electric Vehicles Standards Panel. Its mission is to "foster coordination and collaboration on standardization matters among public and private sector stakeholders to enable the safe, mass deployment of electric vehicles and associated infrastructure in the United States with international coordination, adaptability, and engagement," ANSI President/CEO S. Joe Bhatia wrote in a May 2 invitation to participate on the panel.

NFPA and the big engineers' association SAE International recently announced their co-sponsored 2nd Annual Electric Vehicle Safety Standards Summit will take place Sept. 27–28, 2011, at the Marriott Detroit Renaissance Center Hotel in Detroit. The meeting continues their work after a 2010 summit identified three areas for action plan development: vehicle charging infrastructure; battery hazards identification and protection; and training for emergency responders.

Safety representatives of vehicle and equipment manufacturers, fire protection specialists, electrical safety organizations, emergency responders, and government officials involved in highway safety are expected to participate in the summit.

"Hybrid-electric and electric vehicles continue to proliferate on our roadways, and it is important to build on the positive progress now occurring in the safety infrastructure. We need to remain vigilant in our pursuit of safety on behalf of consumers and emergency responders while working closely with all who are trying to advance this important new technology," said Christian Dubay, P.E., NFPA's chief engineer and its vice president for codes and standards.

"SAE is pleased to collaborate with NFPA in hosting a summit that brings together key stakeholders to identify the necessary standards development activities and associated deployment strategies," said Dave Baxter, the SAE Motor Vehicle Council's chair.

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