Car accidents are a serious and frightening reality and first responders do a heroic job every time they arrive on the scene of these accidents. They have to feel secure, and they have to make quick decisions. Lives can be hanging in the balance. At the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, we want to help. We are bringing training to these first responders so that when they get to a scene of an accident, they will be able to successfully handle accidents with alternative fuel vehicles without any doubt or hesitation.
To continue the NAFTC’s mass first responder training initiatives, this fall we will conduct three Electric Drive Vehicle First Responder Safety Training Train-the-Trainer sessions across the country.
On September 29, the first training will be held at the 2012 AltCar Expo and Conference in Santa Monica, California. As part of the week long Greater Indiana Odyssey events, a training session will be held at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, on October 17. In addition, the NAFTC is planning an additional train-the-trainer session in Morgantown, West Virginia, that will be scheduled later in 2012.
We also launched two new curricula, Petroleum Reduction Technologies (PRT) and our high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) Electric Drive Automotive Technician. Both of these training programs will be used throughout the country. The hard work of our team has resulted in new programs, new curricula, and new opportunities to share our mission of advancing alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.
The CTE program is our curriculum and training program designed specifically for high schools. We introduced the curriculum this summer in two week-long training courses. We trained teachers who will pilot the CTE Electric Drive Automotive Technician curriculum in ten high schools (five in West Virginia and five in South Carolina). Many of the high school automotive programs haven’t been updated in many years, and with electric drive vehicles growing in popularity and staying power, it is necessary that our young people get the education they need on these newer vehicles. This program will give students a unique skill set and make them very employable, whether they go out into post-secondary education, directly into dealerships, or into another career path.
Our instructors also need to be familiar with the components of electric drive vehicles. They need to understand and have access to these new technologies so they can do a better job in the classroom once they go through the hands-on part of our training.
The full version of the PRT was introduced this July in Pittsburgh. The PRT training, developed as part of the Clean Cities Learning Program, funded by the United States Department of Energy Clean Cities Program, made its debut this July in Pittsburgh to an enthusiastic response. The PRT has sections on each of the major alternative fuel sources: biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, and electric drive, as well as sections on fuel economy, idle reduction, and fleet applications, and an overview of the importance of these technologies.
Each of these sections can be used as blueprints for workshops and teaching sessions to all audiences, from the general public to companies seeking petroleum reduction alternatives for their fleets.
We are now taking the PRT curriculum nationwide, and have six train-the-trainer sessions scheduled for Clean Cities Coordinators in each of their regions over the next few months across the country.
It has been a very productive summer at the NAFTC. We have new and exciting plans for the fall including the upcoming biennial National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey in October. Please join us at one of the 150+ events across the country.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of us at the NAFTC if we can be of any assistance.