First responders participate in first-and-only, GM-led EV training in Canada, hosted at Durham College

Event held in brand-new EV lab at DC’s Whitby campus

Durham College (DC) welcomed more than 540 participants to its new, leading-edge EV lab for an exclusive two-day battery electric vehicle (EV) training event hosted by General Motors (GM). Four half-day sessions were held on May 24 and 25 to provide hands-on training to first responders to learn how to respond to emergency situations involving EVs.

Participants included first responders and community partners, faculty members and 30 students from DC’s Firefighter – Pre-Service Education and Training program. The opportunity provided students the chance to network with industry experts as well as gain valuable experience in a growing field.

“Our primary goal is to provide key information directly to first and second responders,” said Joe McLaine, GM global product safety and systems engineer, and leader of the training effort. “This training offers unique material and hands-on experiences that can help increase responders’ awareness of procedures to help maintain safety while interacting with EVs during the performance of their duties.” 

The event was hosted in DC’s brand-new EV Lab – a state-of-the-art facility uniquely designed in a multi-purpose, modular format that allows students to gain hands-on experience with EVs and their electrical and computer programming components. The lab features advanced equipment that enables DC to offer more in-depth training on the battery aspect of EVs – including their handling, testing and rebuilding – an area the college anticipates will see a growth in industry demands as the number of EVs increase.

“As more Canadians make the switch to electric vehicles, Durham College is proud to be one of only a few Ontario colleges with a dedicated EV Lab that will lead the way for future automotive professionals to effectively respond to evolving industry needs,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “We’re pleased to host General Motors for this unique training and explore further opportunities to leverage our leading-edge facilities.”