The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) recently held training for its members and local first responders to continue the introduction of its Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program First Responder Safety Training train-the-trainer course.

During the first day of the two-day class, participants learned how to safely respond to incidents involving advanced electric drive vehicles and their supporting infrastructure.


NAFTC and Yuba College Instructor Gary Garrisi teaches a First Responder Safety Training workshop about advanced electric drive vehicles. Credit: NAFTC

The training was conducted Aug. 29-30 at the NAFTC headquarters in Morgantown, W. Va. The second day of training occurred in two parts. The first session introduced the best practices for instructing others on how best to teach the training session. The second part included a breakout session on dealing with the media during electric drive vehicle accidents, with a follow-up question-and-answer session. The course was taught by NAFTC National Instructor Mark Schmidt and NAFTC and Yuba College Instructor Gary Garrisi, who also works as a full-time firefighter.

Michael Smyth, assistant director of training and curriculum development at the NAFTC, noted that the goal of the course was to teach others how to teach the class. Another unique aspect of the course was inviting local volunteer firefighters and first responders to attend the training and provide feedback.

“The feedback was very helpful,” Smyth added. “They felt it was a valuable course because it showed them how to access, extract and approach the best safety practices when responding to an accident involving an electric drive vehicle.”

The course covered all various types of electric vehicles including hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

Attendees received an instructor manual, participant booklet and a quick reference guide (QRG), which is designed for on-scene use when responding to an accident. The QRG is categorized by all electric vehicle varieties and arranged by make, model and year.

“This course addressed all the valid concerns that first responders have when they will be called to respond to an accident involving electric drive vehicles, such as the Prius, Volt and Leaf become more prevalent and widespread,” Smyth concluded.

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In addition to the training manual, pictured here, first responders who attended the safety training received a quick reference guide to be used on the scene of an accident involving an electric vehicle. Credit: NAFTC

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