Emergency Preparedness Meets Alternative Fuels in First Responder Training


The N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University hosted a two-day training workshop for area first responders as part of the Carolina Blue Skies & Green Jobs Initiative.  The workshop was held September 17th and 18th on the N.C. State University campus.  The objective was to give area emergency response personnel the opportunity to familiarize themselves with, understand the potential hazards unique to, and learn some of the specialized emergency procedures associated with the growing number of alternative fuel vehicles and stations that they may encounter throughout the area. Attendance each day exceeded 50 participants with emergency response personnel coming from as far away as the Piedmont Triad area and the North Carolina coast. In attendance was Robert Shuler Engineering Liaison for the N.C. Department of Insurance and State Fire Marshalls office who noted, “The information presented was excellent.  A lot of the facts were clearly presented and myths dispelled.”

Led by Rich Cregar, an instructor and vehicle technician with over 25 years of  alternative fuels experience,  the workshop was a combination of classroom and hands-on learning with a static vehicle review each day that included propane, natural gas, biodiesel, electric hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, hydraulic hybrid and electric vehicles. Additional support was provided by Wilson and Nash Community College Fire and Emergency Programs instructors. Both the classroom and vehicle review portions were filmed for future use. “ We intend to work with the State Fire Marshall’s office and N.C. State’s Distance Education Learning Technologies program to package the two-day training  in modular sections  to be posted online, so that emergency personnel can benefit from the training from their desk,”  said Rick Sapienza, workshop lead for the N.C. Solar Center.

The Carolina Blue Skies & Green Jobs Initiative, funded through the U.S. Department of Energy with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, deployed more than 500 alternative fuel vehicles and commissioned more than 140 alternative fueling sites throughout North and South Carolina. The N.C. Solar Center was a principle partner to the project lead by the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition at Triangle J Council of Governments.


About the North Carolina Solar Center:

The North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information visit: http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu.  Twitter: @NCSolarCenter


Media Contact:

Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340, shannon_helm@ncsu.edu