Ulster University takes the lead on hydrogen safety training for first responders in Europe

Ulster University researchers from the Hydrogen Safety Engineering and Research Centre (HySAFER) are coordinating HyResponder, a European project which will develop and implement a sustainable “train the trainer” programme in hydrogen safety for first responders throughout Europe.

The €1m European project, Funded by Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU) under Horizon 2020, will support the commercialisation of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies by training responders, who are involved in both the permitting process and in tackling accidents with hydrogen transport and infrastructure. The project will underpin the improvement of resilience and preparedness through enhanced emergency planning, intervention tactics and strategy and in ensuring appropriate accident management and recovery.

Hydrogen has been used safely in industry for many years. However, it is important to understand how its properties differ from conventional fuels. In the event of an incident it is often firefighters who are first on the scene, HyResponder will provide hydrogen specific safety training and European wide guidance for responders.

Professor Vladimir Molkov, Director of Ulster University’s HySAFER research centre, commented:

“We are delighted to coordinate this exciting European project which has the potential to make a life-changing impact to first responders across Europe. Ulster University’s Hydrogen Safety Engineering and Research Centre (HySAFER) is at the forefront of hydrogen and cell technology safety research. The team focuses on the development of breakthrough safety strategies and innovative engineering solutions for hydrogen and other industries to underpin public safety. This collaborative project will see academics and safety experts work directly with fire and rescue services and the relevant professional bodies across Europe to inform and empower first responders to carry out their jobs safely.”

Bart Biebuyck, FCH JU Executive Director, commented:

"FCH JU aims - both at programme and at project level - to ensure that hydrogen safety is adequately managed, and to promote and disseminate H2 safety culture within and outside of the FCH 2 JU programme…. That is why projects such as HyResponder are extremely important."

Read the full press release here