With the number of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles travelling America’s highways expected to increase, the University of Montana has developed an eight-hour awareness training programme aimed at emergency response teams and funded by the US Departments of Transportation and Energy.

According to Paul Williamson of the UM Alternative Energy Technologies office in Missoula, with the proper knowledge and training, hydrogen is far safer to deal with when compared with gasoline.

However, with an igniting temperature lower than gasoline and generally being contained under pressure, particular training is needed in the handling of hydrogen and the safety issues involved.

He added that the course is tailored to, “those who are coming into contact with hydrogen in emergency situations,” such as firefighters, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement professionals and emergency administrators.

In addition, the course will also include training on hydrogen storage, personnel equipment and emergency responses.
Williamson added that, “It’s not so much an academic course as it is training,” and would initially taught along with an engineer and the course will be taught in a supply and demand format.