WVU-Based NAFTC Exhibits First Responder Safety Training Materials at FDIC

First responders from across the nation learned about the latest in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle training at the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium's booth at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), the fire industry's premier conference and exhibition.

FDIC gathers together decision-makers, trainers, experts, manufacturers and suppliers to experience the best in fire service education and technology.

The NAFTC, based at West Virginia University, exhibited its alternative fuel and electric drive vehicle First Responder Safety Training materials at booth No. 3545. The display featured a suite of modern technology products including information about a mobile app that allows emergency personnel to have vehicle information at their fingertips.

Event attendees are also interacting with "HEVTE," the NAFTC's hybrid electric vehicle training educator. HEVTE is a heavily modified, third generation, fully functional Toyota Prius training tool with a cutaway that allows first responders and other FDIC attendees to easily and safely interact with labeled advanced hybrid vehicle components by scanning electronic QR codes.

"'HEVTE' is the NAFTC's newest training tool in our quest to educate the nation about the benefits of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles," said NAFTC Executive Director Al Ebron. "The technology that first responders are seeing when responding to vehicle accidents has continued to evolve and improve, and the NAFTC is committed to making sure our curricula and training programs are on the cutting edge as well."

The NAFTC's First Responder Safety Training consists of modules covering hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery and fuel cell electric vehicles as well as those powered by biofuels, gaseous fuels and hydrogen. The curricula include instructor manuals, participant booklets and the quick reference guide.

The QRG, a durable flipbook for emergency personnel to use at the scene of an accident, is also available as a free app on the iPhone and the iPad, with a recent release on the Android platform. Both the hard copy and mobile versions detail various makes and models of alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles, alerting first responders to such items as high-voltage cables, cut zones and other safety information.

The First Responder Safety Training workshops teach emergency personnel what they need to know about alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles and how to respond to an accident scene. Topics include key vehicle properties and characteristics, vehicle components, vehicle identification and recommended first responder procedures.

"Alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles reduce our nation's dependence on oil and keep our air cleaner," Ebron noted. "Because more consumers are realizing the benefits of these next generation vehicles and purchasing them for their personal transportation use, first responders must understand the differences between these and conventional, gasoline-powered vehicles. Alternative fuel and electric drive vehicles are as safe as conventional vehicles, but they are different. The First Responder Safety Training provides first responders with important information to enhance their understanding of those differences."

The First Responder Safety Training's target audiences are firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and hazardous response officials. The curricula are components of two NAFTC programs--the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program and the Clean Cities Learning Program, both funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.

About the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium

The NAFTC is a pioneer and national leader in developing, managing and promoting programs and activities that seek to help reverse America's addiction to oil by encouraging greater use of cleaner transportation. The NAFTC is the only nationwide alternative fuel vehicle and advanced technology vehicle training organization in the U.S. The NAFTC's mission is to provide the training infrastructure for implementing widespread use of alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicles and advanced technology vehicles. The NAFTC is headquartered at West Virginia University and consists of training centers located nationwide from Maine to California, each providing Training with Impact through its experienced instructors and real-world shop facilities. The Clean Cities Learning Program raises awareness and fosters a greater understanding of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, including biofuel, gaseous fuel, hydrogen-powered and electric drive vehicles. The multi-phase, comprehensive Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program helps promote and further the acceptance and use of advanced electric drive vehicles.

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