First Responder Training for Battery Energy Storage Systems
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire and electrical hazards. Well known for their development of codes and standards, NFPA realized that high voltage batteries presented safety issues and hazards that first responders were not trained to appropriately handle.
The National Fire Protection Association partnered with Strategen Consulting, and were awarded a Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Fire Prevention and Safety Grant to create a first responder training program on high powered battery energy storage systems.
To address these knowledge and training gaps, NFPA, Strategen, and a team of active and retired firefighters developed a free training program (both online and classroom formats) that covers battery energy storage systems and hazards, emergency systems and emergency response.
Strategen’s primary role was to inform the training curriculum through the following:
- Research and synthesize an overview of the current and near-future size of the energy storage market to identify the types of storage on which to focus the training.
- Identify the primary locations, applications, and storage chemistries likely to be encountered.
- Collaborate and interface with battery manufacturers and scientists in order to present a clear picture of the latest research on select battery chemistries, and the safety issues and hazards associated with each.
- Review ongoing safety activities and working groups that first responders can utilize as resources.
Strategen also actively promotes the training program through extensive policy, regulatory and utility networks, and is helping NFPA to coordinate classroom training sessions for firefighters, utility safety officials, and industry safety stakeholders.
Strategen’s research greatly informed the training program’s final recommendations for first responders. Our outreach and collaboration with battery manufacturers and other stakeholders helped raise awareness of the important issue of safety, and provided opportunities for industry and first responders to engage in constructive dialogue on how to simultaneously promote market growth and enhance first responder safely.
Contact Randy Fish, Strategen team lead on the NFPA First Responder Training Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.