New Solar Training for Fire Fighters Announced by International Association of Fire Fighters and Interstate Renewable Energy Council

A new, cutting-edge, online training course announced today offers critically important information and real-world simulations for fire fighters to keep them safe and confident around a photovoltaic (PV) solar system.

(Las Vegas) - With one million homes and businesses nationwide now producing energy through solar roof panels, the likelihood that fire fighters and other professionals will encounter solar electric systems in the course of their work is dramatically increased. A new, cutting-edge, online training course announced today offers critically important information and real-world simulations for fire fighters to keep them safe and confident around a photovoltaic (PV) solar system.


The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) partnered to create an online training course that is far beyond the PowerPoint click-and-view model. The self-paced online course, "Solar PV Safety for Fire Fighters," features rich video content and simulated environments so fire fighters can practice the knowledge they've learned.

Designed by experts from the solar industry and the fire service, the training guides learners through the process of identifying the presence of PV systems, shutting down the system to the extent possible, and minimizing shock and other hazards on the active scene and in the wake of an incident.

"We've had increased requests from members for solar training, as more and more communities have PV on residential and commercial structures," according to IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger. "We're pleased to partner with IREC and the solar industry to familiarize our members with this technology and to increase their safety and competency when responding to incidents on solar-equipped structures."

"An on-line program for PV safety has been needed for some time. This will now allow many large and small departments who have been unable to provide needed electrical safety training to their members at no cost," says Fire Captain Matthew Paiss, San Jose FD (IAFF Local 230), who appears in the training video.

"IREC is honored to work closely with the IAFF to bring innovative, just-in-time training to the fire service," says IREC President and CEO Jane Weissman. "The IAFF has a long history of proactive measures to provide needed and current education for its 300,000 membership base, so it was a logical partner for this undertaking. The online training is an important component of our ongoing efforts with the IAFF to bring high-quality solar training to the fire service."

Learners successfully completing the full course will be provided with a document of completion.

The training can be accessed at the IAFF's web site: www.iaff.org/pvsafetytraining.

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the SunShot Initiative. Other training partners are the National Association of State Fire Marshals and Interplay Learning.

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About The Interstate Renewable Energy Council
IREC is a not-for-profit organization that believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce. Since 1982, IREC's programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. www.irecusa.org

About the IAFF
The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the leading advocate in North America for the safety and training of fire fighters and paramedics and represents more than 300,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect communities in every state and throughout Canada. More information is available at www.iaff.org.

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