The Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition (GLICCC) recently hosted a Clean Cities Learning Program (CCLP) First Responder Safety Training course for emergency personnel.

Held Sept. 23 in Stony Brook, N.Y., the class focused on electric drive and natural gas vehicles. The trainers were Mark Schmidt, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium’s national instructor, and Gary Garrisi, an expert in electric vehicle safety training and a contract instructor with the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC). GLICCC contracted with the NAFTC to use the CCLP First Responder Safety Training curriculum.

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Instructors Mark Schmidt, left, and Gary Garrisi team teach the CCLP First Responder Safety Training during a workshop hosted by GLICCC. Credit: GLICCC

The day offered two separate sessions with a mix of classroom and hands-on training, covering a variety of vehicles. With 20 participants in attendance, Schmidt and Garrisi, a Yuba College instructor and full-time firefighter, team taught the curricula.

“I covered the technical aspects of the compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric drive vehicles,” Schmidt said. “Gary discussed the related infrastructure, placards, and transportation safety as they are relevant to first responders.”

Schmidt and Garrisi used the NAFTC’s Chevy Volt as a hands-on training tool during the electric drive vehicle module.

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NAFTC National Instructor Mark Schmidt discusses the Chevy Volt with participants of the recent CCLP First Responder Safety Training in Stony Brook, N.Y. Credit: GLICCC

The Clean Cities Learning Program First Responder Safety Training was developed by the NAFTC, thanks to grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program.

GLICCC Coordinator Rita Ebert praised the training materials and the course, noting she would like to see every Clean Cities coordinator in the nation participate in the workshop.

“The class was great,” Ebert commented. “We had the perfect two people to give a class; they work very well together, with one covering the technical material and the other presenting the first responder information. I would like to have them come and do training classes for all (Clean Cities) coordinators.”

Since the Sept. 23 training, Ebert reported she is still receiving e-mails from first responders interested in participating in the CCLP workshops.

“The response was overwhelming,” she added. “I have about 15 firehouses that want this first responder training; that’s at least 2,000 people. The firemen who came to the event said they don’t get this detailed training at the training school.

“The materials were well put together,” Ebert continued. “People learned a lot, and they felt like they really accomplished something. Not only that, but they have something to take with them to use as a reference. The materials are phenomenal.”

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