This past month was a very busy month of training for the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC).

The NAFTC held a Firefighter Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) Safety Training Train-the-Trainer course on August 15 at the Jackson County Learning Center in Seymour, Indiana. The Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition hosted the event.

Leading the training was Chris Womack, NAFTC instructor-in-training, under the direction of Micheal Smyth, NAFTC assistant director–training and curriculum development. Womack showed participants how AFVs differ from conventionally fueled vehicles and proper procedures to implement when dealing with an accident involving an alternative fuel vehicle.

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NAFTC Instructor-in-Training Chris Womack discussing the electrical system of a Toyota Prius with Firefighter Safety Training for Alternative Fuels Vehicles participants. Credit: NAFTC.

Jeff Julian, NAFTC instructor, taught three First Responder Safety Train-the-Trainer courses for Firefighters, EMS workers and law enforcement across the south. On August 17 and 18, he traveled to Austin Community College in Austin, Texas. Then, on August 24 and 25 Julian taught the course at Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Finally, he traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas, to deliver the First Responder Safety Training at Pulaski Technical College Business and Industry Center. These trainings were hosted by the Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance, Tulsa Clean Cities Coalition, and Arkansas Clean Cities Coalition, respectively, and funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant managed by the North Central Texas Council of Governments and Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition.

Tulsa Area Clean Cities Energy Programs Specialist Daniel Jeffries commented, “Attendees who were at first skeptical of the course walked away better informed, excited about the materials, and were interested in letting their colleagues know that they should take the course in the future.”

The first responder trainings focused on tactics that firefighters, EMS workers, and law enforcement officers should follow in responding to an emergency involving an AFV.

Jeffries continued, “Our attendees came from all over the state, and each of them left more informed and better prepared in case of a collision involving an alternative fuel vehicle. They were excited to share what they learned with their colleagues.”

The NAFTC conducted another free Propane Autogas Vehicle Technician Training August 23 through 25, hosted by ICOM North America, at their New Hudson, Michigan facility. This class was the sixth in a series of trainings funded through the Propane Education and Research Council.

NAFTC National Instructor Mark Schmidt taught the class.

“These Propane Autogas classes are always fun to teach because the students are so involved. They work in groups to solve problems and then present their findings in front of the class. They are engaged in the material and it’s interesting to see how they learn to solve the problems we give them,” Schmidt commented.

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NAFTC National Instructor Mark Schmidt delivers an in-class lecture during the Propane Autogas Vehicle Technician Training. Credit: NAFTC.

Schmidt also taught the Compressed Natural Gas Fuel System Inspector Training. The class was held on September 7 and 8 at the Baton Rouge Community College Baton Rouge, Louisiana (hosted by Louisiana Clean Fuels) and again on September 15 and 16 at the NAFTC Headquarters in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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Training participants at Baton Rouge Community College gather around one of the CNG vehicles used in training. Credit: Louisiana Clean Fuels.

As the year winds down, the NAFTC has plans to conduct an Electric Drive Vehicle Automotive Technician Training and a final free Propane Autogas Vehicle Technician Training in 2016. For information about these or other upcoming trainings, visit the NAFTC Training Schedule.

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