The 19th annual National Hydrogen Association (NHA) Conference and Hydrogen Expo took place in Sacramento, CA, and proved to be the NHA’s biggest conference to date with over 1,200 attending the event. The NHA develops hydrogen infrastructure and technologies to reduce the nation’s dependence on imported fuels, improve the environment, and drive economic growth. The NHA serves as a premier source for information on hydrogen and educational materials to the media, safety and codes & standards officials, policy-makers, and the general public
NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron attended the Conference and presented a paper titled, “Hydrogen Safety Training for First Responders: Fulfilling a Need,” written by Ebron, NAFTC National Instructor Scott Martin, and Curriculum Developer Eric Underwood. As technology rapidly develops, the likelihood that emergency response personnel will respond to an accident involving a hydrogen-powered vehicle is greatly increased. The paper presented by Ebron discusses the need for first responders to be trained on hydrogen-powered vehicles to ensure safety for themselves as well as others involved in the accident. When responding to an accident involving hydrogen, they must work as quickly and as safely as possible to deal with present dangers and to extricate a vehicle’s passengers. The paper also introduces the NAFTC’s forthcoming workshop series, on other alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, dedicated to the safety and training of first responders.
The NHA Conference featured many events and exhibits. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in the Conference’s Ride and Drive event which featured 11 hydrogen-powered vehicles available for test drive. Participants also had the opportunity to tour Air Product’s hydrogen facility in Sacramento. Air Products is the world’s largest supplier of merchant hydrogen, and is at the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. Attendees were also invited to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) which formally opened a new solar-powered hydrogen fuel cell vehicle refueling station during the NHA Conference.
The 20th annual NHA Conference will be held in Columbia, SC on March 30 April 3, 2008. For more information visit the National Hydrogen Association’s Web site.