On April 3, a tragic accident involving a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle claimed the life of 59-year old Gerald Throw in the small town of Howard, WI. To compound the tragic situation, the vehicle’s only passenger was also critically injured.
Accidents such as these are often beyond our control, but we can and should prepare our first responders to become comfortable with alternative fuel vehiclesincluding CNG vehiclesin the case of an emergency.
That’s why the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College turned to the National Alternative Fuel Training Consortium (NAFTC) for a two-day course on responding to accidents involving alternative fuel vehicles, the NAFTC’s First Responder Safety Training.
Training participants examine a CNG Cummins truck during the hands-on portion of the NAFTC’s First Responder Safety Training. The training is funded through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Credit: NAFTC.
“We decided to conduct the class to better educate instructors throughout Wisconsin on how to handle events. We had previous training on hybrid electric vehicles only, and this course introduced instructors to other types of vehicles,” said Christopher Hohol, public safety instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. “Training is very important to responders because incidents today are not standard. You cannot confirm easily what is and is not a non-conventional vehicle. This training will assist instructors in delivering that message to responders.”
The First Responder Safety Training prepares first responders to safely and effectively respond to accidents involving a variety of alternative fuel vehicles, including electric drive vehicles and vehicles that run on natural gas, biofuels, ethanol, hydrogen, and propane.
NAFTC instructor Jeff Julian conducted the Wisconsin-based training on May 1920. The training included the most up-to-date materials and cutting-edge knowledge on alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.
“The training stood out over others primarily because of the materials and instructor knowledge,” said Hohol.
The course was one of three First Responder Safety trainings that the NAFTC conducted this May.
For a complete NAFTC training schedule, please click here.