NAFTC Showcases First Responder Safety Training Materials at FDIC June 2012
The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) showcased its alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle training April 16-21 at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), the firefighting industry’s premier conference and exhibition.
Every year the FDIC gathers decision makers, trainers, experts, manufacturers and suppliers to experience the best in service education and technology. Nearly 30,000 attendees filled the exhibit halls, classrooms and training sites at this year’s conference.
The NAFTC display featured the organization’s First Responders Safety Training materials, which includes training on biofuels, gaseous fuels, hydrogen and electric drive and a suite of modern technology products.
The quick reference guide (QRG), a durable flipbook for emergency personnel to use at the scene of an accident, is also available as a free app on the iPhone, iPad, and Android platform. Credit: National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium
Event attendees were able to interact with “HEVTE,” the NAFTC’s hybrid electric vehicle training educator. A heavily modified, third generation, fully functional Toyota Prius, the HEVTE is a training tool with a cutaway that allowed first responders and other FDIC attendees to easily and safely interact with labeled hybrid electric drive vehicle components by scanning electronic QR codes.
“HEVTE is the NAFTC’s newest training tool in our quest to educate the nation about the benefits of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles,” said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron. “The technology that first responders are seeing when responding to vehicle accidents has continued to evolve and improve, and the NAFTC is committed to making sure our curricula and training programs are on the cutting edge as well.”
The NAFTC’s First Responder Safety Training covers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery and fuel cell electric vehicles as well as those powered by biofuels, gaseous fuels and hydrogen. The curricula include instructor manuals, participant manuals, workshop booklets, a quick reference guide (QRG) and online training (for Electric Drive only).
The QRG, a durable flipbook for emergency personnel to use at the scene of an accident, is also available as a free app on the iPhone and the iPad, with a recent release on the Android platform. The hard copy and mobile versions of the guide detail various makes and models of alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles, alerting first responders to such items as high-voltage cables, cut zones and other safety information.
The First Responder Safety Training workshops teach emergency personnel what they need to know about alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles and how to respond to an accident scene. Topics include key vehicle properties and characteristics, vehicle components, vehicle identification and recommended first responder procedures.
“Alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles reduce our nation’s dependence on oil and keep our air cleaner,” Ebron said. “Because more consumers are realizing the benefits of these next generation vehicles and purchasing them for their personal transportation use, first responders must understand the differences between these and conventional, gasoline-powered vehicles.
“Alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles are as safe as conventional vehicles, but they are different. The First Responder Safety Training provides first responders with important information to enhance their understanding of those differences.”
The First Responder Safety Training’s target audiences include firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and hazardous response officials. The curricula are components of two NAFTC programs—the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program and the Clean Cities Learning Program, both funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.