Are B.C. Fire Departments prepared?
Fire departments around B.C. have had to prepare to the best of their abilities for EV fires. Without enough scenarios to put their training to action, they can only assume their training might work.
A shortage of EVs to practice with due to high costs means that fire departments often have to rely on manufacturers emergency handbooks when dealing with EV fires.
Konrad Sears is the Training Officer for Vancouver Fire & Rescue. Sears voices that while EV development is constantly evolving, fire departments around the world are working with manufacturers to determine a solution.
Sears and the rest of the training team advise their fire stations to use a combination of compressed foam and water to help put out EV fires.
Vancouver Fire & Rescue is providing an eight hour course called the “Electric Hybrid and Fuel Cell Vehicle Safety Training Program.” Sears says that the department is lucky that the City of Vancouver is very supportive of training efforts.
“Vancouver is very fortunate because we have specialty teams. In the City of Vancouver, we have 20 fire stations—all the members in all the halls get the same awareness-level training. We also have four halls that are specifically-trained for heavy rescue, commercial vehicle incidents. And we also have a dedicated hazardous material response teams. Which a lot of departments don’t have the luxury of having, because we have that strength in that duty at any one time.” – Konrad Sears, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Training Officer
In many cases in the Lower Mainland and around the world, fires have restarted after the initial blaze was extinguished, which poses a major challenge to fire fighters.