Our News

27 January 2012

CAVC qualify first Welsh firemen in Electric Vehicle Awareness

Five Fire Fighters of Roath White Watch have become the first in Wales to gain an Electric Vehicle Awareness qualification. The course, which is taught by Cardiff and Vale College, provides emergency workers with knowledge of the dangers associated with electric vehicles and the precautions to avoid potential injury.

Cardiff and Vale College is the first centre in Wales to certificate candidates on the Level 1 Electric Vehicle Awareness course which has been developed by IMI Awards in conjunction with electric vehicle manufacturers, component suppliers and the IMI Sector Skills Council. It provides anyone who may encounter a high-voltage electric vehicle (such as a hybrid vehicle) with an awareness of the potential hazards to ensure they can work safely around it. The training was delivered in the station house by Engineering lecturer Brian Tantum, and tailored to the specific needs of the Fire Service.

Over 1000 electric vehicles were sold in the UK in 2011, and this number is set to rise in 2012 as the electric car market steps up a gear with at least four major manufacturers launching new electric vehicles (EVs).

John Voyce, Watch Commander at Roath Fire Station, said: “As the number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the road continues to increase we want to ensure that we’re equipped with all necessary information about this new vehicle technology.

“The training provided by Cardiff and Vale College was tailored to our needs, focusing on the specific hazards that could be faced by Fire Fighters when dealing with emergency incidents involving electric and hybrid vehicles. This will help ensure the safety of not just Fire Fighters and other emergency services personnel, but also members of the community who use our services.”

The College is working with South Wales Fire Service to extend the training across all Fire Stations in the area and there are also hopes to also train other first responders such as the ambulance service. Bradley Tanner, Head of Technology and Environmental Sustainability at the College said: “We’ve been working with South Wales Fire Service for some years now and we’re very happy to be able to deliver this training to their front line staff which we hope will give them confidence in dealing with accidents involving EVs and ensure the safety of everyone involved. We are offering the training to other emergency services so that they too can be aware of the potential hazards of this technology.”

The course was delivered in a one-day classroom and practical training session at the Fire Station using the College’s Toyota Prius and followed up with an online test.

Glyn Evans, Lead External Verifier and Moderator for IMI Awards, said: “This qualification has been designed to be offered to emergency services as it gives them the right knowledge when attending a road traffic accident that involves an electric vehicle.

“It’s very pleasing to see that Cardiff and Vale College have worked with the South Wales Fire Service and adapted a training programme that worked around their schedule and has resulted in a successful outcome.

“The College has addressed a particular requirement that the emergency services needed which means that these candidates are the first of a small group in the UK to achieve the new high voltage vehicle awareness qualification.”