The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium displayed their award winning First Responder Safety Training curricula at two industry conferences, the Fire Department Instructors’ Conference (FDIC), April 22 through 27 and Fire-Rescue Med, May 3 through 7.
The NAFTC hosted a display to promote the full suite of First Responder Safety Training and materials, including the electric drive online course at FDIC, the world’s largest fire training-based conference and exhibition, at the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
The workshops equip firefighters with the knowledge they need to safely respond to automotive incidents involving various types of alternative fuel vehicles including gaseous fuels (natural gas and propane); biofuels (biodiesel and ethanol); hydrogen; and electric drive vehicles, including hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles. Participants in the course learn about different alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle configurations and their built-in safety systems; how to identify these vehicles at an accident scene; battery technologies and electric vehicle systems for electric drive vehicles; and how to approach, assess, and secure the vehicles.
In addition to the classroom workshops, the NAFTC also offers an 8-hour online course in First Responder Safety Training for Electric Drive Vehicles. Thanks to a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the NAFTC is able to offer a limited number of scholarships for firefighters to obtain this online course for free.
“Not all firefighters are able to participate in classroom-based training due to location, cost, and time constraints. Because of this, the NAFTC is happy to offer scholarships to a limited number of firefighters so that they can learn about the differences between conventional and electric drive vehicles,” said NAFTC Project Manager Amy Gandy. “This is important safety information that every firefighter should know.”
The NAFTC also displayed its Hybrid Electric Vehicle Educator at the event. HEVTE is a heavily modified, cutaway Toyota Prius. This fully functional vehicle allowed show attendees to view and safely interact with the hybrid electric vehicle components. By scanning electronic QR codes, show attendees gained a basic overview of the components that make a hybrid differ from conventional vehicles.
NAFTC Assistant Director Training and Curriculum Development Micheal Smyth talks with show attendees about the components on HEVTE.
“HEVTE allows first responders to see what they will be dealing with when responding to vehicle accidents that involve hybrid vehicles,” said NAFTC Assistant Director Communications and Outreach Judy Moore. “Electric drive technology has continued to evolve and improve, and the NAFTC is committed to making sure our curricula and training aids are on the cutting edge as well.”
More than 30,000 fire fighters attended the 2013 FDIC.
Representatives from the NAFTC also attended and exhibited at Fire-Rescue Med at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, NV May 3 through 7. Fire-Rescue Med is the premier conference for fire-based EMS leaders, including new and aspiring chiefs. The conference provides education and training on hiring and all aspects of fire-based EMS services.
“Face-to-face marketing is still one of the best tools you have to reach and influence customers. The Fire-Rescue Med 2013 Conference gave the NAFTC a great way to meet the leaders and rising stars of the fire service and EMS industry,” said NAFTC Acting Director Bill Davis. “The conference showcases education and hands-on training and provides attendees with an exhibition hall with the latest and greatest products. And the NAFTC First Responder Safety Training materials were right in place.”
“The interest exhibited by attendees was fantastic,” Davis continued. “They were extremely pleased with the QRG phone app that allows users to have immediate information on advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles at the scene of an accident or incident. And the availability of online training was a plus for professionals who have many demands put on their time. With the online training, they can access it when their schedules permit. All-in-all, the Fire-Rescue Med 2013 Conference was a fantastic experience for the NAFTC and the fire service industry.”