Hazmat Initiatives at the IAFC: Program Update and Learning Opportunities

Here’s what’s been happening at the IAFC in the Hazmat Center. Read about the ALERT program update. Then check out the learning opportunities available to you via the IAFC Academy.


The Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to provide hazmat training, focused on rail responses involving flammable liquids, for volunteer or remote emergency responders.

Since its inception, the IAFC along with their partners (the IAFF, NAFTD, NVFC, NASFM, ISFSI and RFA) have created a unique training enterprise to address planning and response needs. Furthermore, the aim of the training is to provide valuable information and resources to first responders regarding hazmat response.

As of January of the new year, we have trained over 500 first responders with instructor-led courses in ethanol safety, regional rail response and hazmat operations. We anticipate to train and equip an additional 700–750 responders before the grant period ends this September.

We also developed free online, self-paced courses for first responders in hydrogen response, ethanol emergencies and propane safety, as well as the courses listed above. Safety is our top priority and it’s crucial that our nation’s first responders have the information and training they need to respond to these hazmat incidents.

To learn more about our online courses or to check our calendar and locations for the remaining in-person training sessions, visit the Hazmat Fusion Center online. To learn more about the ALERT grant, read PHMSA’s initial press release

Ethanol Emergencies Training

Our Ethanol Emergencies Training course is a two-hour online and self-paced course. After completing the eight modules, you will have a better understanding of the chemical and physical characteristics of ethanol, as well as transportation modes, transfer operations, suggested responder tactics and strategies. A certificate of completion will be available.

To enroll in this class, visit the IAFC Academy

Hydrogen Course

This class is a combined effort of the IAFC and hydrogen specialists from around the United States. The aim of this course is to equip first responders with vital information they need for safe hydrogen incident response. You will learn essential topics related to hydrogen including its use, chemical and physical characteristics, and suggested responder tactics and strategies. A certificate of completion will be available.

To enroll in this class, visit the IAFC Academy

Propane Course

Propane safety and proper response to propane related emergencies is critical for first responders. The Propane Educational and Research Council in partnership with the IAFC has an designed an online program within the IAFC's Academy which consists of five modules. Each module contains defined objectives and knowledge checks, and interactive scenarios. This course’s aim is to provide first responders with a heightened awareness of the physical and chemical properties of propane, knowledge of how to complete a hazard and risk assessment, and finally, to develop an incident action plan to mitigate the emergency. A certificate of completion will be available.

To enroll in this class, visit the IAFC Academy

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