Cais 8 is now the stage for the workshop on New Technologies for Socorro (NTS), which is part of the ‘Civil Protection Month’ programme, promoted by the Municipality of Funchal.

In this training, around 60 operators from various corporations in the country are carrying out exercises, preparing to respond to incidents, namely in electric cars, whose characteristics, in particular with regard to their battery, pose new challenges at the time of rescue.

To the media, José Minas, commander of the Funchal Sapadores Firefighters, explained that this workshop is divided into four work benches, on which eight vehicles from the Renault group that have not passed the quality control tests are distributed, and that, therefore,  allow firefighters in training to test and apply rescue maneuvers to these new vehicles for the first time.

Among the exercises that have attracted the most onlookers is a thermal blanket that allows extinguishing fires in electric and combustion vehicles, thus avoiding greater environmental damage.

“It is extremely important. We didn’t use a liter of water, we didn’t contaminate anything at all, except a little bit of the atmosphere with smoke, and we managed to extinguish the fire immediately”, explained the commander of Sapadores do Funchal, who adds that this is an operation that only involves two operators.

According to the person in charge, this is the first time that this blanket is presented in the Iberian Peninsula, and this corporation already has two units of this equipment for its operational activity.

Pedro Calado, mayor of Funchal, added that each of these blankets has a total cost of 3,000 euros and can be used up to 10 times.

“We would need between five and six extinguishers to extinguish a fire in an electric vehicle, with a unit cost of 300 euros. We are talking about greater speed [in the aid] and savings between 1,500 and 1,800 euros for each activity that takes place”, denoted the mayor, also highlighting the environmental benefit that these equipment have.

However, according to José Minas, so far, his corporation has not been called upon to intervene in accidents or fires in electric cars, but reiterates the importance of being prepared for such eventualities.

It should be noted that this workshop is also handling materials for extrication, the extraction of victims and the inertization of electric vehicles and equipment of German origin that, by involving electric cars, makes it possible to prevent the rekindling of fires in electric vehicles.