Delaware Valley Tesla Owners Club


A workshop for first responders focused on interactions with Tesla vehicles

Developed and presented by the Delaware Valley Tesla Owners Club

Motivation for Crash Course

As the number of Tesla vehicles on the roads grows, so does the chance that a first responder will need to interact with a Tesla in some capacity. Would you know what to do if you encounter an accident involving a Tesla? Do you know how and when to disable the high voltage battery? How to safely stabilize, move or tow a Tesla? Do you know how to respond to a lithium-ion battery fire? For most first responders, the answers to some or all these questions is no. Delaware Valley Tesla Owners Club developed Crash Course because we recognized that to fully realize Tesla’s mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy and transport, all sectors of community need to be informed and prepared. It is important for everyone’s safety – Tesla owners and first responders alike – for first responders to know how to handle a Tesla in an emergency. That is why we offer Crash Course and why it spreads by word of mouth from one community to the next. Check out our blog post for the story of how it all started.



What is Tesla Crash Course?

Crash Course is workshop that covers a wide range of content relevant to first responders of all types: police, fire, and EMT. The workshop is divided into two parts. Part 1 starts with a slide presentation in a classroom or auditorium with opportunities to ask questions. At the end of the presentation, we use real-life scenarios to assess audience knowledge gained during the workshop. Part 2 involves hands-on interaction with Tesla vehicles to review how various components work and where they are located in all models. A handout in pdf format is provided to organizers to print and hand out to participants. Crash Course is independent of and has no affiliation to Tesla.


What topics are covered?

The content covered in a Crash Course workshop is continuously being updated to incorporate new information, for example changes to Tesla models, as it becomes relevant. The workshop encompasses the following general content areas:

  • How to identify and operate a Tesla
  • Relevant security features in Teslas
  • Identify locations of high voltage (HV) components
  • Vehicle immobilization and disabling HV battery
  • Methods for occupant access
  • Firefighting recommendations for Li-ion battery fires
  • Approaches for stabilization and extrication
  • Hand-off to 2nd responders
  • Considerations for storage and tow/transport
  • Charging products and situations

Why is the workshop focused on Tesla vehicles rather than all EVs?

The number of battery electric vehicles (BEV) on the road has been increasing exponentially in the last 10 years and although there are now many car manufacturers that make BEVs, currently Tesla makes up more than half of the market share. Our Crash Course workshop is focused on interactions with only Tesla vehicles because it allows us to go into detail on structure and recommendations for dealing with Tesla vehicles in emergency situations. Although some aspects of dealing with BEVs, such as recommendations for fighting lithium-ion battery fires, may pertain to other manufacturers vehicles, we can’t generalize about other things like the high voltage system structure and disabling methods and stabilization points. Therefore, we have chosen to focus on Tesla vehicles so that we can go into depth on the topics we cover with the understanding that this should not be the only exposure first responders receive in dealing with BEVs.


What do I need to know to schedule a workshop?

Location: Host sites must have a classroom or auditorium with an adjacent area for the hands-on vehicle interaction (8-16 cars). The vehicle parking area can be outside in the warmer months, but a backup indoor or covered location should be available nearby in case of rain. The classroom should have a screen, projector and microphone (projector and microphone can be provided by DVTOC if needed).

Dates: Most of our workshops are held on weekends to ensure our full team is available. However, some locations are amenable to weeknight workshops. We are generally scheduling 3-9 months in advance and have limited spots available. Indicate your needs in the application form and we will let you know what is possible.

Time: The full workshop usually lasts about 3 hours. 

Cost: Pricing for the workshop depends on the anticipated size of the audience. We will send a quote based on the information provided in the application form.

Certifications: Crash Course has been previously approved for:

    • 0.25 Technical CEU’s from NJ Division of Fire Safety (needs application for each workshop in advance)
    • 3 hours elective EMT CEUs from the NJ DOH and DE OEMS (needs application for each workshop more than 30 days in advance) 
    • 3 hours of Continuing Telecommunicator Education (CTE) credits from the Office of Emergency Telecommunications Services (OETS)
For certifications in NJ, instructions and options for assistance with obtaining CEU certification will be provided after submission of aCrash Course application. For other states, please contact each organization in your state for confirmation and instructions. 

Apply to host Crash Course in your community!

To initiate a request to host a workshop in your fire station or community, please fill out an application form using this link or QR code.  Have a question? Email us!

References from previous Crash Course sites are available on request.


Upcoming Crash Course Workshops

Useful resources for first responders

Tesla First Responders: Emergency Response Guides and Quick Response Sheets as well as links to EV Safety and Training resources. Tesla Roadside Assistance number - 877-798-3752

NFPA: Collection of Safety Manuals and First Responder Information.

Moditech: Subscription-based access to all ERGs.

Energy Security Agency: The ESA serves manufacturers, public/private organizations, and end-users with recommendations and training pertaining to safe battery handling.


Delaware Valley Tesla Owners Club is a 501(c)7 Not for Profit and is the official partner owners club with Tesla, Inc. for New Jersey, Delaware, and Greater Philadelphia.  The club circle Logo and word mark are used under license from Tesla, Inc.

All content Copyright ©2020-2024 Delaware Valley Tesla Owners Club.

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