Learning how to respond to accidents involving alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) is growing in importance as the ownership of AFVs increases. This past June, the Westfield Indiana Fire Department engaged in a training to learn about the systems of AFVs and where to locate their power sources. This was due in part to a Train the Trainer program, with education and training materials provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
NFPA’s Alternative Fuel Vehicles Safety Training Program offers customized training for the Fire Service, EMS, Fire Investigation, Crash Reconstruction, and Tow & Salvage communities. The program offers first and second responders training and information to prepare them for the growing number of electric, hybrid, fuel cell, and gaseous fuel vehicles on our nation’s roadways.
According to the NFPA, now more than ever, this training is becoming an essential piece of a responder’s day to day activities, as the number of alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) on U.S. roadways exceeds 13 million. This program offers U.S. responders free access to online training, videos, animations, simulations, data review questions, scenario rooms, 3D interactive environments, quick reference materials, and research. NFPA also offers comprehensive full-day classroom instruction.
Westfield, Indiana is located in Hamilton County, with a population around 40,000. There are currently several electric vehicle (EV) charging stations located near Westfield, which helps consumers make an easier switch to EVs. Greater Indiana Clean Cities assisted in obtaining the alternative fuel vehicles which were provided by the City of Indianapolis and Westfield Schools. The provided AFVs allowed the attendees to do hands-on learning and apply the training concepts.
The NFPA maintains a collection of Emergency Response Guides from 30 alternative fuel vehicle manufacturers, which can be downloaded for free.
To locate AFV fueling stations near you, please check out the Alternative Fueling Station Locator, provided by the Alternative Fuels Data Center.