The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium at West Virginia University is presenting first responder safety train-the-trainer classes on electric drive and gaseous fuel vehicles in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Fighters’ conferences this week (through Thursday, Jan. 30).

The Association’s Affiliate Leadership Training Summit and its Human Relations Conference are being held in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. More than 1,400 members and firefighters from across the United States and Canada will be in attendance at those conferences. The International Association of Fire Fighters is an industry leader in firefighter health and safety and training. The organization currently represents more than 300,000 full-time professional firefighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of North America’s population.

The first responder safety training is designed specifically to prepare first responders and public safety officers to respond to incidents involving alternative fuel vehicles. The eight-hour training will be split into two workshops: electric drive vehicles and gaseous fuels (natural gas and propane) and gaseous fuel vehicles.

These workshops teach first responders to identify the different types of electric drive, natural gas and propane vehicles; explain their components and included safety features; and teach how to safely stabilize or extract someone from one of these vehicles.

“Electric drive vehicles and natural gas or propane vehicles are becoming more popular across the country,” said Micheal Smyth, NAFTC assistant director of training and curriculum development. “Although just as safe as conventional vehicles, they do pose a different set of concerns for firefighters and other emergency personnel as they approach an accident scene. It is important for all first responders to be properly trained to work with these vehicles so that they can safely assist at accident scenes. The NAFTC first responder safety trainings give participants a thorough understanding of alternative fuel vehicles – from identifying them at an accident scene to removing someone from the vehicle.”

The NAFTC is conducting this training under a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant. The first responder safety training for alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles project allows the NAFTC to offer first responder safety train-the-trainer courses to state fire academies’ instructors, as well as through pre-conference workshops at industry conferences.

The NAFTC is the only nationwide alternative fuel vehicle and advanced technology vehicle training organization in the U.S. The NAFTC’s mission is to provide the training infrastructure for implementing the widespread use of alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicles and advanced technology vehicles. The effort to increase our nation’s energy security, as well as to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is embodied in the NAFTC’s motto, “Because Clean Air and Energy Independence Matter.” Founded in 1992, the NAFTC consists of National Training Centers located nationwide from Maine to California. Each center provides Training with Impact through its experienced instructors and real-world shop facilities. Numerous other members from secondary schools, small businesses, government and industry also support the NAFTC’s mission. More than 1,850 courses have been conducted by the NAFTC, resulting in more than 35,000 trained technicians in AFVs and advanced technology vehicles.



CONTACT: Judy Moore, National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium

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