As an initiative to ensure maximum safety for passengers and drivers, Mowasalat (Karwa) organised the first ever firefighting training in Qatar for electric vehicles, especially those with lithium-ion batteries, in co-operation with a specialised US company.
The four-day training at the Mowasalat (Karwa) headquarters and Ras Laffan was attended by a diverse group of staff together with representatives from the General Directorate of Civil Defence.

Officials at the training

The attendees were trained for the management of a variety of disaster situations, from full-scale electric vehicle crash damage to multiple ignition scenarios. The prop bus to facilitate the practical training was supplied by Yutong Buses for performing emergency operation techniques in a controlled set-up.
The first day was spent with an overview of electric vehicles, followed by discussions on electric vehicle safety and lithium-ion battery fire behaviour. The second day focused on electric vehicle shutdown and hazard management, with a special focus on passenger and special needs passengers’ evacuation.

Fahad al-Qahtani
The last two days were focused more on practical sessions conducted at the live site. The attendees were trained with a live burning battery and instructed on fire suppression tactics and operations. The concluding day also integrated Civil Defence support with water extinguishers, extrication and hand tools to access areas of the burnt bus and the lithium-ion battery.
The attendees learnt to apply “forced-entry” operations for gas sampling and rapid access to the external compartment doors, housing the battery. The simulation taught how to use water flow without touching the burnt battery.

A participant in the training session

After the training, and in line with Mowasalat's (Karwa) commitment to sustainability, particular emphasis was placed on waste management and disposal of burnt lithium-ion batteries and the waste generated from the simulation and practical sessions. This was also in line with the vision to recycle or repurpose used batteries, tyres, and other parts of used buses.
Speaking on completion of the training, Fahad al-Qahtani, CEO of Mowasalat (Karwa) said: “Our unfailing commitment towards seeing a greener public transport system in Qatar has inspired us to proactively deploy our new fleet of eco-friendly zero-emission electric buses on our streets.
"At the same time, we remain acutely conscious of the health and safety interests of both our drivers and passengers and continuously aim to ensure that our teams are equipped with the knowledge of appropriate safety protocols and incident management and response capabilities. It is with this intent that we undertook the joint firefighting training exercise, specifically concerning electric vehicles.”
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