The Internatonal Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is introducing a new, free hazardous materials (hazmat) training tool, the Electronic Learning Community (ELC). The ELC provide a flexible and inexpensive means for emergency first responders to receive high quality training on hazmat topics, and specifically, hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell incidents. While the online portal is open to any responder, one of the primary goals of the project is to reach underserved volunteer responders who may not have the time or resources to obtain such training.
The ELC is made possible through a cooperative agreement between the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Funding was provided by DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).
The goal of the ongoing partnership between IAFC and DOT is to expand awareness of critical information and issues related to hazmat, and enhance/improve preparedness for hazmat response for firefighters and other emergency responders.
The purpose of this project is to analyze the concept of an on-line distance learning approach for training the volunteer first responder community. Distance learning training systems were researched to determine if hazmat training could be more accessible and timely for first responders nationwide. The effectiveness of an on-line distance learning training system will be assessed during this research, with the topic of hydrogen and hydrogen fuel centers being the focus of this training.
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