The NAFTC conducted a two-day, train-the-trainer course titled, “First Responder Safety Training: Hybrid Electric Vehicles,” April 10-11, 2008, at the NAFTC headquarters in Morgantown, West Virginia. The course trained and certified a pool of instructors to teach the four-hour workshop on hybrid electric vehicle safety developed for first responders. The course is designed to provide first responder instructors with the needed information to train those who confront a growing number of automotive accidents involving hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) as these vehicles become increasingly more popular. Instructors gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of HEV operation and hybrid safety, as well as supporting materials and continuing assistance from the NAFTC to facilitate future training workshops.

This workshop is first in a forthcoming series committed to educating firefighters, police, EMTs, and paramedics on how to safely and effectively approach alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles that have been involved in a vehicle accident, while properly protecting themselves and the accident victims.

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Participants of the two-day training completed classroom time as well as valuable hands-on activities. NAFTC Photo

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Activities included an up-close look at the high-voltage battery pack of a new 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle. NAFTC Photo

“The NAFTC is excited to deliver the ‘First Responder Safety Training: Hybrid Electric Vehicles’ train-the-trainer course,” said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron. “There exists in the U.S. a substantial need to educate first responders on hybrid technologies, operation and safety. The NAFTC is creating the series of first responder workshops in an effort to reduce uncertainty in the event of an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle-related accident. By training others to train first responders we can greatly expand the network of knowledgeable protective service workers.”

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NAFTC Executive Director, Al Ebron speaks about the importance of the NAFTC’s first responder workshop series with a local news crew. NAFTC Photo

The training received national attention as participants traveled from as far away as Oregon to attend the first responder instructor course. The NAFTC anticipates the workshop series for first responders to be an enormous success and therefore aggressively training additional instructors is an important step.

“We are witnessing a national response relating to the “First Responder Safety Training: Hybrid Electric Vehicles” workshop, and therefore the need to train additional instructors. It is really an exciting time for the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium as this is just the first in a series of workshops dedicated to the education of first responders across the country,” said NAFTC Assistant Director of Programs, Randall Levelle. “As first responders experience a growing number of vehicle accidents involving alternative fuel vehicles and advanced technology vehicles, the need for these workshops is clear. The NAFTC is exceptionally prepared to address this need and we look forward to conducting trainings wherever it is required.”




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