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6 Posts authored by: mgorin Employee

With COVID-19 “stay at home” advisories in effect across the globe, an unlikely technology has come to the aid of public safety agencies responsible for enforcement measures: drones.

Government officials everywhere have asked citizens to practice social distancing and stay at home to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread. The results have been dramatic with just about every industry from ride share services to grocery stores implementing changes. Enforcement of the widespread restrictions currently in place is certainly unprecedented, and that’s where drones come in to play.

China got a head start on the coronavirus and has been creatively using drones for aerial spray and disinfection, to transport samples, and to deliver food and other goods to consumers. Fox News recently reported that public safety agencies in California are using drones to deter people from congregating in groups at parks and other recreational areas. Meanwhile, Zipline, a company whose medical delivery drones have been instrumental in life safety efforts in Ghana and Rwanda, is now working with U.S. policy makers to rapidly deploy their technology domestically in the fight against COVID-19.

NFPA has been monitoring the utilization of drones by public safety agencies around the globe for years, and recently published the first edition of NFPA 2400, Standard for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Used for Public Safety Operations. NFPA 2400 help authorities looking to deploy drone programs by providing relevant industry insight and best practices The standard covers the implementation, deployment, and use of sUAS in the public safety community so that agencies can enhance their inspection, search and rescue, fire ground, and operational capabilities.
In 2019, NFPA also received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop and disseminate essential drone program compliance information to the U.S. fire service via online learning modules, educational videos, and interactive simulations. The training deliverables for this project are currently in development and will be available in the spring of 2021.

As we are seeing today, technologies such as drones and unmanned systems will increasingly be called upon to augment public safety capabilities around the world. Lessons learned during COVID-19 may very well help with the fight against wildfires, influence future search and rescue efforts, and provide invaluable information when other emergencies present.

Stay safe and healthy.


NFPA has relevant resources designed to keep you informed about important fire, building, and life safety guidance during this pandemic period. NFPA codes and standards are also available for free online access.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is excited to offer its newly updated fire service Photovoltaic & Battery Energy Storage Systems Safety Training course to the United States fire service. This four-hour instructor led course will be offered via live webinar format on August 26th and 28th from 12:00PM EST – 4:00pm EST.


Recognizing that energy storage and solar systems are rapidly becoming a reality across the country, NFPA has developed the Photovoltaic & Battery Energy Storage Systems Safety Training program to help the fire service handle the unique challenges presented by these emerging technologies. This training is particularly relevant in the wake of the recent energy storage system incident that occurred in Arizona, resulting in injuries to eight firefighters.


The engaging instructor-led course will be taught by NFPA’s highly knowledgeable and experienced instructors, and covers the following topics:


  • Introduction to energy storage system & solar concepts including applications, types, and terminology
  • Basic electrical theory
  • Introduction to photovoltaic systems
  • Introduction to battery energy storage systems including lead acid, lithium-ion, sodium sulfur, and flow batteries
  • Failure modes and hazards
  • Pre-incident planning
  • Emergency response procedures
  • Students will be able to interact directly with the fire service instructor, and all participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the course.


For questions regarding this training, please contact Michael Gorin at


About NFPA’s Energy Storage & Solar Safety Training Program


In 2015, NFPA received grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop safety training for the fire service when dealing with sizeable high-powered energy storage systems incidents. The project brought together Strategen Consulting, California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and several highly knowledgeable subject matter experts from the fire service to identify and confirm best practices for handling incidents involving this emerging technology. Concepts are delivered through online & classroom training, educational videos, animations 3D modeling, scenario rooms, mobile apps, and quick reference materials. In 2017, NFPA received additional FEMA funding to update and expand its program to include solar safety and the latest in storage research findings, while conducting a nationwide awareness campaign for the U.S. fire service. For additional energy storage and solar safety information and resources, please visit our website at www/ 

Within days of Florida Power & Light announcing plans to build the world’s largest solar-powered battery systems by 2021, NFPA has released its updated and expanded Energy Storage (ESS) and Solar Systems Safety Online Training. FEMA, underwriter of the initial training in 2015 (the world’s first), once again provided Assistance to Firefighters Grant money so that the free, self-paced training could be updated and promoted to the nation’s 1.3 million firefighters. This begs the question, “Are you prepared to respond?”

The Energy Storage and Solar Systems Safety Training, Fire Service Edition* will go a long way in Florida when that state’s proposed ESS facility eclipses the current largest system in Australia. Given the environmental, economic and sustainability virtues of solar and storage, Florida is just one of many states looking to revolutionize their electrical infrastructure with green technology. Texas, Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, and Hawaii have also mandated widespread energy storage system deployment.

NFPA has been attuned to the solar and ESS industries for years and offers the fire service and others a host of research and resources at The updated 3-hour education module entails more solar content, new technological considerations, and relevant research so that firefighters are keeping pace with the potential fire and life safety hazards that may exist with these new energy innovations.

Firefighters taking the NFPA training will receive a certificate upon successful completion and learn critical insights including basic battery and solar system function and design; various failure modes and hazards associated with ESS and solar; pre-incident planning considerations; emergency set up and disconnect details; mitigation and emergency response strategies including investigations and air monitoring; and tips on dealing with electrolyte release, overheated batteries, and fires involving alternative energy systems. The goal is to keep first responders and others safe from HAZMAT issues, thermal runaway, battery explosion and re-ignition, and off-gassing.

To help a wider swath of professionals understand, install and deal with ESS – later this year NFPA will release NFPA 855, Standard for the Installation of Station Energy Storage Systems. The Standard, which aims to establish criteria for minimizing hazards, received over 800 public comments during a recent comment phase and attracted standing-room-only crowds during two workshops in the last year.

NFPA announces its Battery Energy Storage Systems Safety Summit being held in Denver, Colorado on February 7, 2018. This FREE event seeks to bring together a wide-reaching audience of interested stakeholders to review, discuss and validate fire service tactics and best practices for incidents and responses involving high-powered battery energy storage systems and solar systems. With the increasing demands being place on our nation’s electrical infrastructure, the installation of battery energy storage and photovoltaic systems has rapidly increased in residential, commercial, micro-grid, and utility scale applications. This exciting event seeks to identify any gaps that may exist in current first responder safety knowledge that can then be integrated into NFPA’s fire service safety training programs. Presenters will include AHJs, installer/manufactures, first responders, codes and standards organizations, research entities, government, and more. 
Who Should Attend?
This event will include participation from emergency first and second responders, regulatory enforcers (federal, state, and local), AHJs, installers, manufacturers, technology providers, facility end-users, insurers, utility companies, and consumer representatives. 
NFPA Battery Energy Storage Systems Safety Summit
When: February 7th, 2018 – 8:00am to 4:30pm 
Where: Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, Denver, Colorado 
Energy Storage Systems Safety Training Program
Recognizing the need to address firefighter safety and tactics for battery energy storage systems, NFPA sought and received grant funding in 2015 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop the world’s first fire service safety training program. The Energy Storage Systems Safety Training Program brought together a diverse group of industry stakeholders, and several highly knowledgeable subject matter experts from the fire service to identify and confirm best practices for handling incidents involving this emerging technology. Concepts are delivered through online & classroom training, educational videos, animations 3D modeling, scenario rooms, mobile apps, and quick reference materials. In 2017, NFPA received additional FEMA funding to update and expand this program, conduct a nationwide awareness campaign, and provide classroom and virtual training's in selected cities for the U.S. fire service.  
alternative fuel vehicle training program - NFPA
The concept of electric vehicles is nothing new in the United States, in fact the very first vehicles on our roadways were indeed electric. Fast-forward nearly 150 years, these battery powered innovations have made quite the resurgence in our transportation sector, with the potential to completely take over vehicular transportation as we know it. Just this week General Motors and Ford have announced plans to make dramatic shifts towards electrification of their vehicle fleets, with GM committing to 20 new all-electric models by 2023. These plans come on heels of similar commitments from Volvo, Nissan, and Volkswagen among other manufacturers.

Impacts on Emergency Responders


As the electrification of our roadways picks up momentum, NFPA continues to look at what this means for our emergency responder community? According to the latest NFPA Fire Loss Report, there were more than 174,000 vehicle fires reported during 2015 alone. That equates to a vehicle fire every 3 minutes on U.S. roadways. With more and more electric vehicles on our roadways, significant consideration needs to be placed on training and educating our emergency responders on the unique hazards these vehicle could pose. Some of these topics include:


Vehicle Identification
Battery Fires
Submerged Vehicles
Extrication Practices
Towing & Recovery
Fire/Accident Investigations


While our emergency responders have more than 100 years of experience responding to incidents involving internal combustion engine vehicles, these new considerations are requiring changes to existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and tactics.

Training & Education


In 2009, recognizing the need to prepare our nations emergency responders for electric and other alternatively fueled vehicles, NFPA launched its Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Training Program which offers training, tools, and information for emergency responders to safely handle emergencies involving alternative fuel vehicles. These concepts are delivered via classroom instruction, online training, videos, animations, simulations, data review questions, scenario rooms, 3D interactive environments, quick reference materials, and research. As vehicle manufacturers increasingly offer electric and hybrid vehicle models, these trainings are becoming an essential aspect of our responder’s day to day activities.


To access these training offering please visit us at:

In a recent report published by the U. S. Department of Energy, they updated hybrid vehicle sales figures, which reported more than 500,000 vehicles sold since 2010. The report also notes that monthly sales records have been hit five times since December 2015.

As hybrid and other alternatively fueled vehicles (AFV) continue to grow in popularity, we have expanded our extensive library of training and educational materials for first responders on the best practices and tactics for handling AFV incidents. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Training Program offers free online training, classroom training, educational videos, 3D models, and quick reference materials. The program includes training tailored for the fire service, *EMS, law enforcement, fire investigator, *accident reconstruction, and *tow & salvage communities.  A detailed list of training offerings can be found attached below. 


For more information about NFPA’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Training Program or to access our training and educational materials, please visit our website:


*These training products are currently being developed or revised, with an intended launch of Summer 2017. 

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