This month, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) conducted trainings at nearly every corner of the U.S.

The NAFTC continued to conduct the series of free Propane Autogas Vehicle Technician Training sessions funded by the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC). The Propane Autogas Vehicle Technician Training curriculum was developed by the NAFTC in partnership with and funded by PERC to provide the training to automotive technicians nationwide.

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Participants in the propane course get hands-on experience working with propane vehicles. Credit: NAFTC.

Vice President of Education and Training at PERC Stuart Flatow explained, “PERC was thrilled to partner with the NAFTC to create a formal course for students seeking knowledge on trouble shooting and maintaining propane autogas fuel systems. Now we are excited to roll the course out across the country and train these automotive technicians on how to work with this fuel.”

The new propane autogas training gives automotive service technicians an in-depth look at servicing and maintaining propane-autogas-powered vehicles. The NAFTC launched the course to help fill a need for qualified technicians who can adapt, service, and maintain the alternative fuel systems.

NAFTC Director Bill Davis commented, “The Propane Autogas Vehicle Technician Training will help us educate automotive technicians in the safe repair and maintenance of vehicles that run on propane autogas. Incorporating this new course into current automotive technology curriculums will benefit students, schools and their communities.”

The Propane Autogas Technician Trainings most recently were held at Blossman Gas in Asheville, NC and Linn-Benton Community College in Lebanon, OR.

The NAFTC conducted an Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician Training from June 6-10 at NAFTC Headquarters in Morgantown, WV.

The week-long course instructed participants about the fundamentals, system design, diagnostic considerations, and special service topics of hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles.

The course covered appropriate safety measures in maintaining electric drive vehicles and described their electric propulsion systems. These systems include construction, operation, control strategies, service tools, scan tool data, and basic diagnostic fundamentals.

Participants benefitted from hands-on and workshop exercises to facilitate understanding and improve the learning process.

NAFTC National Instructor Mark Schmidt commented, “The students were highly skilled technicians who particularly enjoyed the hands-on activities in the class, such as disassembling the electric battery and working with the bug box and fault detectors.”

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Doug Tolbert and Jim Surprise disassemble an electric motor as part of the Electric Drive Automotive Technician Training. Credit: NAFTC.

The NAFTC conducted a First Responder Safety Training from June 8-9 at the North Central Texas Council of Governments in Arlington, TX.

The training consisted of targeted courses for firefighters, law enforcement and EMS workers.

“The NAFTC is very excited to have developed the two new much needed first responder courses for law enforcement and emergency management services personnel,” said Mike Smyth, NAFTC assistant director curriculum development and training. “Many times law enforcement or EMS personnel are the first to arrive at a vehicular incident and are responsible for dealing directly with alternative fuel vehicles.

Alternative fuel vehicles are different than conventional vehicles and it is critical that ALL first responders be trained to deal with accidents involving these vehicles. Firefighters, law enforcement and EMS personnel work in chaotic environments with pressing time constraints, and they must know how to safely and quickly secure an accident scene. As the price of oil continues to climb, drivers are looking for alternative ways to fuel their vehicles. These alternative fuels and the vehicles they power have special safety considerations, and in many cases a first responder cannot assume that the same safety standards are applicable as conventional vehicles.

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First Responder Safety Training students had the opportunity to work with alternative fuel vehicles and see their storage tanks and fuel systems. Credit: North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Pamela Burns, Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coordinator said, “A course in alternative fuel vehicles for first responders has long been requested for in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Participants left the class with increased recognition and knowledge of alternative fuel vehicles and will go on to teach their colleagues about the properties and procedures of AFVs.”

For more information about these or any of the NAFTC Courses or Workshops, visit the NAFTC list of available trainings. To learn which trainings are scheduled, visit the NAFTC Training Schedule or contact the NAFTC.

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