2,000 Degree Flames: First Responders Undergo Special Training to Handle Electric Vehicle Fires and Crashes

Electric bus fire
Hamden Fire Department

First responders in Oklahome have begun special training to handle electric vehicle (EV) crashes and fires following a growing number of incidents throughout the U.S. One training coordinate explained why special EV training is required, explaining: “They burn significantly hotter so they can throw a 2,000-degree flame out like a torch.”

News 9 reports that firefighters in Oklahoma have begun training in Oklahoma City to learn how to respond to electric vehicle fires and emergencies.

Firefighters from Oklahoma City, Canute, Midwest City, and Elk City recently began training at the OKC Fire Training Facilty to handle emergencies related to EVs.

Tesla car fire Canada

Tesla car fire Canada ( Sons of Vancouver Distillery/YouTube)

Tesla Crash and fire in Mountain View, CA is being investigated by the NTSB

Tesla Crash and fire in Mountain View, CA is being investigated by the NTSB (Twitter/Dean C. Smith)

Trainers with the Energy Security Agency taught firefighters how to effectively put out an electric car fire. Paul Davis, the fire training coordinator for the Oklahoma City Fire Department, commented: “They burn significantly hotter so they can throw a 2,000-degree flame out like a torch.”

Ted Lausser with the OKC Hazmat Team, stated: “The batteries can go into thermal runaway, heating up the next one, starting a chain reaction that can take up several hours to stop.”

Albrecht also noted that firefighters have to be careful when cutting into electric vehicles: “If we cut the wrong spot, we hit a high voltage wire, we’re gonna electrocute everyone around,” said Albrecht.

Breitbart News previously reported on the issues that firefighters have faced with electric vehicles. One fire department chief said that electric vehicles that catch on fire are “trick birthday candles,” due to their tendency to reignite even after the fire seems to be out.

After a Tesla vehicle crashed in Mountain View, California, firefighters spent five hours battling the vehicle fire. The firefighters put out the flames and sent the car to an impound lot where the car promptly reignited. Five days later, the car once again burst into flames. Fire protection experts are now criticizing the lack of U.S. safety regulations aimed at preparing firefighters to handle these fires.

Electric vehicles use high-voltage lithium-ion batteries to run, which can often result in dangerously high temperatures if the cars catch fire. Emergency responders are also at risk of electric shocks from damaged lithium batteries when handling electric vehicles during a blaze.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently stated that emergency responder guidebooks are inadequate, especially in the case of electric vehicles. The NTSB found that half of all U.S. fire departments are not prepared to handle electric vehicle fires and almost one-third of fire departments have no specific training for electric vehicles or hybrid cars that catch fire.

In June, Breitbart News reported that a Tesla vehicle fire required 4,500 gallons of water to extinguish. In May, Firefighters in Vancouver, Canada, began investigating a car fire involving a Tesla after an electrical malfunction caused the vehicle doors to lock shut, trapping the driver inside as smoke began pouring in through vents. The driver kicked out a window to escape. In July, a Tesla Model S Plaid erupted into flames outside of Philadelphia, trapping the owner inside after electronically activated doors refused to open, the car owner’s attorneys claim. The driver escaped from the Tesla, but the fire took more than two hours for the fire department to extinguish.

Read more at News 9 here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.