Emergency First Responder Training to be Featured During Clean
Cities’ Alternative Fuels & Vehicles Expo
Training to prepare professionals who respond to vehicle accidents for the possibilities in crashes involving alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) will be featured during the 2012 Alternative Fuels & Advanced Technology Vehicles Expo on May 22.
The one-day Expo is sponsored by the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) and hosted by coalition member Washington Gas at the utility’s new Springfield Center, 6801 Industrial Road, Springfield, VA 22151. The facility officially opened this month.
A recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that first responders — the firefighters, police officers, emergency medical personnel and others whose job is to help when crashes occur — are themselves at increased risk of injury or death if not trained in proper accident assessment and response.
The Expo is a project of the growing and reinvigorated GWRCCC. It will showcase scores of alternative fuel machines, from mowers to passenger cars to medium-duty vehicles to transit buses, street sweepers and Class 8 tractors. There is even an armored tactical vehicle with hybrid technology advantages that make fuel efficiency a weapon in military applications.
“There is fast growing interest in the use of alternative fuels to help resolve some of the nation’s economic and environmental concerns,” GWRCCC Executive Director Ron Flowers said. “As the number of AFVs on our highways steadily grows, we need to make sure our public safety workers have the necessary tools and training to do their jobs as safely as possible.”
The NHTSA report was conducted along with a federal investigation into the potential for dangerous fires resulting from crashes involving electric-powered vehicles. It gave interim guidelines to help keep first responders safe.
Barry Rickert, an expert with 40 years’ experience as firefighter, trainer and inspector, who retired as Connecticut deputy fire marshal in 2011, said, “Alternative fuel vehicles are here to stay. Being prepared to respond to emergencies with the necessary training is a must.”
Two one-hour sessions for first responders will be held at the Expo, one from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. and one during the early afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m.. Each will provide the “student” with the basics of the technologies and particular risks or dangers.
“The need for full-scale training is there now,” stressed Mr. Rickert. “We owe it to first responders to provide in-depth, expert training, for their safety as well as ours.”
GWRCCC Director Flowers said risks involving AFVs are not sufficient to diminish interest in their benefits. The Expo Tuesday will feed the interests with the latest information on current alternative fuels and the vehicles that use them, he said.
In addition to the vehicles and training for first responders, a variety of informational sessions will be of interest and value to fleet operators, business owners, policymakers and the motoring public.
- One-hour sessions discuss the individual alternative fuels: Natural Gas, Propane, Electricity, Biodiesel, Hydrogen and Ethanol.
- Local, state and federal officials consider the impact of government policies on the use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles.
- Industry analysts consider the current market for alternative fuels and what the future might hold.
- Various alternative fuels and their best applications will be discussed by AFV manufacturers and managers of commercial AFV fleets.
- Experts discuss changes in the industry so far this decade, and what this year may hold.
- Transportation industry representatives of the alternative fuels and AFVs make presentations and answer questions.
Online registration for the Expo is open at www.CleanCitiesEventsDC.com/expo. Online registration will close on Monday at noon. Onsite registrations will be accepted beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.It begins Tuesday with registration and Continental breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. From 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. visitors may take in the displays, view vehicles and until 5:00 p.m., participate in breakout informational sessions.