CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Audi South Africa has concluded facilitation of a training programme with 70 South African First Responders hosted at their Dealer Training Academy in Pretoria.
The safety and education initiative is the first for the local automotive industry and part of Audi’s e-tron launch and electric vehicle roll-out in South Africa.
Sascha Sauer, Head of Audi South Africa, told The Corner in a media release: “As part of our planning towards the introduction of our fully-electric Audi e-tron model range we consulted with the Department of Co-operative Governance and the National Disaster Management Centre in South Africa and identified a need to progress the education and information of electric vehicles (EV) to First Responders.
“These individuals, such as paramedics and fire services, play a vital role in the safety and security of South African drivers and with the growing transition towards e-mobility there was definitely an important responsibility on our part to bring these teams along our local EV transition or journey.”
The training facilitated a programme to “train the trainer”, with South African National Fire and Emergency Services, enabling the team of trainees to be in a position to adequately handle electric vehicle incidents on South African roads.
The classroom-based training content included education and awareness of EV product features technicalities of charging and battery operations and safety guidelines for handling an electrically operated vehicle in comparison to one with an internal combustion engine.
Attendees were also exposed to Audi’s recently launched Audi e-tron models through a practical exercise based on global best-training practices.
‘INVALUABLE FOR FIRST-RESPONDERS’
Acting Director of Fire Services, Thibedi Jappie Lengoabala, explained: “With the arrival of more and more electric vehicles on our roads the training of this nature was invaluable to our First Responder teams. It is great to see that the future of automotive is taking place in South Africa and that our teams are seen as an important stakeholder within this new era.
“EV’s are increasing in popularity and will have an extensive presence on our roads within the next five years. While EV’s will present new and unique challenges to our emergency services, there are effective ways to ensure safe and operative responses to any EV related incident.
“Skilled and qualified personnel is key to all of this. Audi is proud to start the educational training process with our National Fire and Emergency Services teams, helping to keep them and South Africans safe on the roads.
“Understanding the basic EV construction and technicalities will empower emergency and fire services to react with confidence while saving lives while also limiting damage to the vehicle.”.