NAFTC staff members have been busy promoting alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles at conferences from California to Maryland.

At the National Hydrogen Association (NHA) Conference and Expo May 3-6 in Long Beach, Calif., NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron made a presentation about the Hydrogen Vehicle Test Project at Yeager Airport in Charleston, W. Va. NAFTC Assistant Director – Curriculum and Training Mark Olance also attended and promoted the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program.

During his presentation, Ebron focused on the importance of educating the public about alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicles and advanced vehicle technologies – an imperative step to the ultimate success and adoption of these next generation vehicles.

“This is especially true with hydrogen vehicle implementation and deployment projects since these vehicles are not available for consumer purchase,” he noted. “The National Alternative Fuel Training Consortium’s Hydrogen Vehicle Test Project at Yeager Airport is designed to determine the effectiveness and reliability of hydrogen-powered vehicles in support of daily operations in a fast-paced environment at a regional airport and Air National Guard facility.”

In addition, Ebron provided information about early testing and evaluation of the use of hydrogen vehicles in West Virginia, utilizing the hydrogen fueling station at Yeager Airport. He discussed the methodology used to deploy vehicles; development of data collection strategies; determination of evaluation criteria; daily vehicle operations, including data collection from the operators, vehicle status, fuel usage, driver reports and other anecdotal information from the vehicles’ operators; driver training for operators on refueling, safety and reporting; and education and outreach for first responders, state officials, residents and code officials.

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The Toyota Highlander Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle – Advanced was on display at the NHA Conference and Expo. Credit: NAFTC

NAFTC National Instructor Mark Schmidt presented “Properly Educating First Responders” at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Conference and Expo June 7-10 in Las Vegas. The event fosters the exchange of ideas among NFPA members, while new and revised NFPA codes and standards are discussed and voted upon at the meetings. The expo educates professionals on fire protection, electrical and life safety and security.

Schmidt’s presentation discussed the need for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle training as it relates to first responders, recognized the challenges in properly educating first responders and reviewed NAFTC activities that help promote safety when dealing with alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle incidents. Also during the conference, Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program materials were displayed.

At the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) Conference and Expo in St. Louis June 14-17, Schmidt offered his first responder information again, while Communications Specialist April Henry exhibited Clean Cities Learning Program materials. Providing the global ethanol industry with up-to-date information and networking opportunities in a dynamic business-to-business environment, the FEW is the largest, longest running ethanol conference in the world. From its inception in 1985, the mission of the event has been to deliver timely presentations with a strong focus on commercial-scale ethanol production, new technology and near-term research and development.

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NAFTC National Instructor Mark Schmidt, far left, presents “Properly Educating First Responders” at the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) Conference and Expo. Credit: NAFTC

Ebron, Olance and Schmidt attended the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) Conference, for which the NAFTC was one of the sponsors, July 19-23 at Seminole State College of Florida in Sanford, Fla. Olance presented “Overview of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles,” while Schmidt covered “Overview of Biofuels.” Seminole State College, one of the NAFTC’s National Training Centers, provided automotive academics and the regional automotive industry a high-tech training facility for professionals and their guests. During the conference, NAFTC staff members promoted the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program.

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NAFTC Assistant Director – Curriculum and Training Mark Olance presents “Overview of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles” at the recent North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) Conference. Credit: NAFTC

NAFTC Assistant Director – Operations Bill Davis and Project Manager Cathy Mezera exhibited at the Firehouse Exposition and Conference July 20-24 in Baltimore. They promoted the new First Responder Safety Training curricula, which are being developed under the Clean Cities Learning Program and Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Offering a large selection of fire service education classes – about 120 – plus some additional new features, the Firehouse Expo’s overall goal is to improve safety.




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