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State Develops Online EMS Training For Handling Green Vehicle Emergencies

A picture of a man charging an electric car.
David Dodge
Green Energy Futures via Creative Commons

As more alternative fuel vehicles take to the roadways, North Carolina is working to prepare first responders how to react when they're part of an emergency.

The NC Solar Center has worked with the State Fire Marshall's office to develop a workshop for emergency services personnel in the Triangle. Soon, responders in other parts of the state will be able to complete the training online. They'll learn to identify gas, biofuel and battery-operated vehicles.

Anne Tazewell is the Clean Transportation Program Manager at the NC Solar Center. She said it’s important for EMS workers to understand the differences among the types of cars, in case of a crash. Vehicles running on different gases have tanks in a variety of places. And there are already about 2,000 electric cars in the state.

“They're terrifically safe vehicles, but in the case of an emergency, a first responder would need to know, you know, on the inside of the vehicle where the cut lines are, you know, to extricate the passenger, for example,” Tazewell explained. “They're different from a gasoline vehicle.”

Tazewell said she expects the online training will be posted to the State Fire Marshall's web sitein the next month.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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