2023-02 - Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Disabling Tool for Fire Departments
Whereas fire departments practice on old vehicles for training to receive hands on experience, but electric and hybrid vehicles are so new that few have been scrapped leading to less training; and
Whereas electric and hybrid vehicles have high-voltage cables that run through them along with a high-powered battery that could cause serious injury or even death to firefighters; and
Whereas firefighters are used to the sound of an internal combustion engine, as it is easy to tell when a vehicle is running, while electric vehicles do not produce that noise, and hybrid vehicles may produce that noise if running on an internal combustion engine at the time of the accident; and
Whereas fire departments must ensure vehicles are powered off prior to taking the vehicle apart for their safety and performing extraction.
Therefore be it resolved that SUMA advocate the Minister Responsible for major Crown Corporations, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency to provide all Saskatchewan Fire Departments with an adapter for electric and hybrid vehicles to ensure fire departments can safely disable the power on these vehicles prior to tending to occupants in vehicles.
Acts affected: None
Dear Randy Goulden:
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your May 11, 2023, letter regarding the resolutions adopted by your membership at the 118th Annual SUMA Convention. I also appreciated the opportunity to participate in the convention.
In response to the resolution regarding electric and hybrid vehicle disabling tools, you may be interested to know SGI has provided $5.6 million in funding to the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) for the development of the Transportation Rescue Extrication program. This program offers comprehensive training courses that allow volunteer firefighters to meet minimum standards for auto extrication. It also includes purchasing tools and equipment that support the application of extrication training. Fire departments may apply to the Transportation Rescue Extraction program for training and/or equipment through the SPSA website.
Currently, extrication safety practices for electric and hybrid vehicles are under development with the Canadian Commission of Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners. Once the Commission determines the safety practices, the adapters may be considered for funding under the Transportation Rescue Extrication program. To fmther support this safety initiative, SGI has provided two electric vehicles to the Saskatchewan Volunteer Fire Fighters Association to be used for educational purposes and has agreed to prioritize requests for electric salvage vehicles to be used for education and training as they become available.
Don Morgan, K.C.
Minister Responsible for SGI
Dear Randy Goulden:
Resolution 2023-02: Electric and Hybrid Disabling Tool for Fire Departments
In response to resolution 2023-02, SGI provided $5.6 million (M) in funding for the Transportation Rescue Extrication (TREX) Program for the delivery of training courses that allow volunteer firefighters to meet minimum standards for auto extrication, and to purchase tools and equipment that support the application of that training.
Fire departments can apply to the TREX Program for funding, training and/or equipment. Information on how to apply can be found on the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency's (SPSA) website saskpublicsafety.ca.
Extrication safety practices for electric and hybrid vehicles are under development with the Council of Canadian Fire Marshalls and Fire Commissioners (CCFMFC) and will be rolled out nation-wide. Once the CCFMFC determines the safety practices, the adapters may be considered for funding under TREX.
SGI provided two electric vehicles to the Saskatchewan Volunteer Fire Fighters
Association (SVFFA) to be used for educational purposes and has agreed to prioritize requests for salvage vehicles to be used for education and training purposes as they become available.
The first of its kind in Canada, TREX was developed in collaboration with the SVFFA, the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs and the Provincial Training Standards Committee.
The fund is managed and distributed by the SPSA, with governance provided in collaboration with SGI, Saskatchewan Health Authority, fire service stakeholders, and other Government of Saskatchewan ministries.
The SPSA will facilitate mass training events for fire departments who do not have the capacity to hold their own training as required by the TREX Program guidelines and vendors.
As of May 8, 2023, 82 TREX applications have been received and reviewed by the TREX
Application Approval Committee. All fire departments are in varying stages towards completion of the required training with four departments already in possession of equipment to use in the application of that training.
The SPSA has provided $390,255.50 in funding to date for training and equipment and estimates another $6.lM has been allocated to approved applicants and will be provided over the next one to two years.
The SPSA estimates there are 350-400 volunteer fire agencies and about 6,000 volunteer firefighters in Saskatchewan.
Minister of Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety