The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium based at West Virginia University has been recognized with a prestigious national award for creating an innovative education package that provides electric vehicle safety training to America’s first responders.

The organization won its second National Excellence in Training Award in the past five years from the Automotive Training Manager’s Council, this time for its Electric Drive Vehicle First Responder Safety Training. The package consists of a suite of products including smart phone apps and on-line courses in addition to in-the-field durable reference materials and traditional classroom training.

The Consortium received its award in a formal presentation at the Council’s annual reception in Las Vegas in October. Previous winners include industry recognized names such as Ford, Delphi, Bridgestone, Volvo and AC Delco. This marks the second time the Consortium was selected for a National Excellence in Training Award. In 2007, it won for its Overview of Biodiesel course.

The Automotive Training Manager’s Council is an organization founded by automotive training professionals for the exchange of training ideas and strategies.

The Consortium’s Electric Drive Vehicle First Responder Safety Training educates first responders on the proper procedures to safely approach, assess, stabilize, and disable electric drive vehicles that have been involved in accidents. Training is available through a traditional eight-hour, in-classroom course, and online as an eight-hour course hosted through the Consortium’s Learning Management System.

Additional information including access to a free QRG phone app can be found at http://afvsafetytraining.com/.

Consortium Executive Director Al Ebron explained that, “Advanced electric drive vehicles are safe, but they are different from traditional automobiles. We want to make sure our first responders can handle accidents with electric drive vehicles safely and without hesitation.”

The course’s companion Quick Reference Guide is a durable flipbook for emergency personnel to use in the field. The guide is also available as a free iPhone/Android app. Hundreds of first responders have been trained using the course materials since they were released in early 2012. Many more have already signed up to receive the training.
A panel of ATMC training manager professionals selected the NAFTC work for recognition from among programs across the nation that were submitted for consideration. The award was based upon the program’s ability to meet training objectives in a highly effective and innovative manner.

The National Excellence in Training Award is given annually to outstanding or innovative training programs to emphasize the importance of training for the transportation industry. The award is open to any individual or corporation that provides training in the industry.

In addition to the Consortium, this year’s recipients include Federal Mogul Technical Education Center; NAPA AUTOTECH; and The Natural Gas Vehicle Institute.

Ebron said it is a distinct honor for the program to join the ranks of other two-time winners of the award including NAPA, AC Delco, Federal Mogul and Jiffy Lube. Also, the fact that the Consortium was selected by industry peers makes the award even more special.

“The NAFTC is dedicated to educating and informing the public about alternative fuel vehicles,” Ebron said. “Part of our mission includes providing education on these new technologies to our first responders.”

The Consortium team has had a busy fall. The award comes on the heels of a series of national events known as National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey. More Americans than ever before participated in this year’s events – a single-day outreach initiative of growing fame that introduces its audiences in diverse locations to new alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle options.

This October, approximately 160 Odyssey events were held across the country and internationally in Gothenburg, Sweden and Paris, France. Odyssey educates the public on the importance of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. The total attendees number for 2012 Odyssey events across the U.S. is projected to top 250,000. Hundreds of thousands more received Odyssey information via the news media in hundreds of markets.

The Consortium was founded in 1992 and manages education and outreach programs and activities, develops curricula, and conducts training on subject matter related to alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. The Consortium works with universities, community colleges and high schools around the country to develop training programs for dissemination at the local level. The organization consists of approximately 50 National and Associate Training Centers that utilize its curricula and training materials.

-WVU-

gg/11/20/12

CONTACT: Judy Moore, National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium
304.293.7882 or 304.669.4870; Judy.Moore@mail.wvu.edu

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.

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