This January, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium hosted a First Responder Safety Training session in Riverside, California. NAFTC staff members Micheal Smyth and Amy Gandy facilitated the event at the Ben Clark Training Center, an approved Cal Fire Regional Training Center at the Riverside Community College. The training attracted 21 participants, consisting of trainers within Cal Fire, who will then be able to take the trainings into their classrooms, and train many more. The training session was the first to be funded through a grant recently awarded to the NAFTC by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (the full story can be found here).

The FEMA grant provides funding to conduct First Responder Safety Trainings at 12 state fire academies across the nation, and provides scholarships to 1,500 firefighters to receive the First Responder Safety Training free of charge. The FEMA-funded training is designed specifically to provide curricula, training, and professional development to State Fire Academy personnel.

“Participant feedback from the January 14-15 training was very positive,” said Bill Davis, NAFTC assistant director of operations. “This partnership provides us with the opportunity to reach large numbers of firefighters in Riverside County. The county’s Fire Department Training Bureau is working with a core group of its instructors to train more than 1,100 of its firefighters by June 2013 using NAFTC curricula, including the First Responder Safety Online Training for Electric Drive Vehicles.”

Cal Fire firefighters gather around a natural gas bus, which was used for the hands-on instruction, at the First Responder Safety Training session at the Ben Clark Training Center in Riverside, California. Credit: NAFTC.

The NAFTC began its First Responder Safety Training program in 2005, and has been instrumental in the training of thousands of firefighters and other first responders since.

The training features a suite of modern technology products for electric drive (hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell electric), biofuels (biodiesel and ethanol), gaseous fuels (natural gas and propane), and hydrogen vehicles, including instructor manuals, presentations and other training materials, and participant manuals.

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