Meeker Cooperative, in collaboration with Safety and Security Consultation Specialists (SASCS), recently hosted a groundbreaking training event aimed at bolstering the safety and preparedness of fire and rescue teams in dealing with electric vehicle (EV) incidents. Held on April 9, 2024, the event saw 22 members from the Litchfield Rescue Squad gather to delve into the intricacies of EV response and management.

The objectives behind the event were clear: to cultivate a safer environment for EV drivers and equip first responders with the necessary skills to mitigate hazards associated with electric transportation accidents. With the slow adoption of EVs in the area, there was a pressing need to dispel misconceptions and enhance responders’ understanding of EV technology. “As a cooperative deeply invested in our community’s safety and well-being, hosting this event was a natural choice for us. It’s imperative that our first responders have the knowledge and skills to effectively handle EV incidents,” shared Steve Kosbab, Energy Services Manager & Distributed Energy Resources Coordinator.

Participants engaged in hands-on sessions covering a range of topics, from identifying different EV types to understanding crash response protocols and ensuring responder safety. Notably, the event provided a unique opportunity for attendees to interact closely with EVs, including a 2019 Chevy Bolt and a 2022 Tesla Model Y.

The training covered a comprehensive range of topics related to electric vehicle (EV) response and management. It began with an introduction to EVs, including an overview of EV numbers, manufacturers, types, and history. Participants gained insights into the basic components of EVs, such as high and low-voltage batteries, charging ports, electric motors, and safety features.

Key aspects of EV emergency response were thoroughly discussed, including initial response procedures, identification, immobilization, and disabling of EVs. The training also addressed additional concerns surrounding EV incidents, such as crashes, rollovers, vehicle immersion, and fires. Participants learned about the unique challenges of extinguishing EV fires, handling damaged batteries, and conducting overhauls.

Feedback from participants underscored the value of the training, with many expressing gratitude for the opportunity to gain firsthand experience with EVs. Looking ahead, Meeker Cooperative plans to extend this training to other fire, rescue, and first responder teams in the area, further strengthening emergency response capabilities and fostering a safer environment for all.


In traumatic situations, it may be instinctive to flee as soon as possible. However, if you are in a car accident with a power line, the safest place is often inside the car - whether it’s an EV or not.

When a car crashes into a power pole, the pole may fall, lines may fall on your car or nearby, and the area around your car may become charged with electric energy. If you step out of the car in this scenario, your body will become the path to ground for the electricity, and you could be electrocuted.

Stay in the car if you are in a car accident with a power pole. Warn those who try to come near your car to help that they must stay far away. Call 911 for help and wait until a professional from the electric utility tells you it is safe to leave the car.

The exception to this rule is if your car is on fire. In that case, jump clear of the vehicle without touching it and the ground at the same time. Then hop away with feet together. This way there will not be a voltage difference between your two feet, which would give electricity the chance to flow through your body.

If you see a car crash into a power pole, don’t approach. Your safety matters most. Call emergency services and stay clear of the accident site.

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