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Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (PPCS) welcomed over 130 first responders from Pierce and Pepin Counties for electric vehicle (EV) safety training on April 17 and 24.

Each evening began with a picnic supper sponsored by Quinn Motors of Ellsworth. Instructors from EVSafe, a southern Wisconsin-based organization, then provided classroom training along with hands-on inspections of EVs.  The trainers brought three Tesla models, and PPCS made a Ford F150 Lightning, a Chevy Bolt, and a Hyundai Kona available. The training included common misconceptions about EVs, vehicle safety components, extrication, fire suppression, and disabling electric vehicles.

“EVs are gaining in acceptance and popularity, and we expect to see this trend continue,” said Nate Boettcher, PPCS president and CEO. “We were pleased to offer this specialized training for our first responders and tow operators so they can do their work safely and effectively.”

Instructors from EVSafe have more than 30 years of first responder experience.  Agencies participating in the training were from Ellsworth, Lund, Prescott, River Falls, Spring Valley fire and EMS departments, Ellsworth and UW-River Falls police departments, and Dick’s Auto Body.