What's New

November, 2023 - We recorded a special episode of the Mentors on Fire Podcast on the electrification of the fire service. We will provide a link to it once the episode is published online.

We expect our activity will slow down a bit as most municipalities are in the middle of budgeting for 2024, and the holiday season has arrived.

October, 2023 - We were privileged to co-present with Amy Simpkins from muGrid Analytics on October 12th at the ReBuild Conference in Cincinnati, OH. The title of our presentation was Microgrids are Magic with a focus on rethinking energy systems using microgrids for resiliency, sustainability, economics, and equity on our facilities, campuses and in our communities. We had a full room, and some very good questions; this concept is new so questions were welcome and encouraged.

We took advantage of an opportunity to attend an open house at the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters in Columbus, OH on October 26th. This facility along with their other locations in the tri-state area is designed to train and educate the workforce we need to build future energy systems and built environments. They are doing a great job connecting young people with jobs in trades we need in our region, country and world!

September, 2023 - We presented on Fire Service Electrification as well as EV charging safety to the Portage County Fire Inspectors on Sptember 12th. The event was well attended with professionals from Portage and Summit Counties in attendance. They had great questions, and we were lucky to have Kent State University fire prevention personnel there, because they have solar arrays and a microgrid already on their campus.

We traveled to Greenville, SC on September 24th to give a presentation on Mission-Critical Microgrids (patent pending) as part of a special pre-seminar program on the future fire service at the F.I.E.R.O. Station Design Symposium. The audience was split between people who design fire stations and those looking to have stations built.

We were lucky to be able to attend a symposium on public safety electrification hosted by Land of Sky Regional Council in Weaverville, NC on September 25th after our FIERO presentation. The Weaverville Police Department had their two Ford Mustang Mach-E police cars on display, and John Bonitz from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center gave a presentation. 

We attended the Ohio Conference on Clean/Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency in Cuyahoga Falls, OH in the morning on September 28th. It was nice to hear from other industries and businesses who are also working on electrification and clean energy in Ohio and around the country.

We also presented a webinar for the National Association of Fleet Administrators Northeast Regional Council on Fleet Electrification Infrastructure in the afternoon on September 28th. The group was engaged and many people asked for the presentation slides to take with them.

August, 2023 - We presented on fire service electrification at Fire Rescue International on August 15th along with Rosenbauer and REV Group with a focus on mission-critical, microgrid-based charging infrastructure. The event was not well attended indicating the fire service is not taking electrification as seriously as it needs to; it also indicates we still have a lot of work to do!

We co-headlined the August 17th Police Fleet Expo Super Session on Planning for EV's with Bob Martinez, retired NYPD. The event was well attended, and we even experienced a power outage in the middle of the session. While unplanned, the outage highlighted the need for mission-critical microgrids (patent pending) to support mission-critical fleets like law enforcement, fire and EMS.

July, 2023 - We volunteered at the Kaulig Companies Championship at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio the 9th through the 16th, then enjoyed time off with friends and family.

June, 2023 - We attended the Green Energy Ohio Awards Event in Dayton recognizing leaders in clean energy in SW Ohio. It was great to network with like-minded professionals and advocates.

We coordinated with the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA), Drive Electric Ohio, Drive Electric Northeast Ohio, Drive Electric Dayton and Drive Electric Columbus to host the June 11th Cleveland, Ohio stop on the EVA's Route Zero Relay! We even had the electric Tesla Model Y police car called ModelPD. We also participated in the Drive Ohio NEVI plan update event on June 14 at Tri-C.

May, 2023 - We were fortunate to present at the Firehouse Station Design Conference on Mission-Critical Microgrids (patent pending). Feedback from attendees was great, and we hope some eyes were opened about what we need to do to ensure electric mission-critical fleets will be able to operate continuously even during a disaster or power outage.

Session Details

Name

Mission-Critical Microgrids

Date & Time

Thursday, May 25, 2023, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Speakers

Michael Benson - Command Consulting LLC

Description

The electrification of emergency service fleets is an inevitability, but our infrastructure was not designed to accommodate an all-electric fleet. The power needs of mission-critical electric vehicles (EV) are unique, and beyond the capacity of our current electric grid and backup generators. The fire service, and other service providers with mission-critical responsibilities, must develop robust, resilient charging systems able to operate in extreme conditions. This Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) must be able to function even when the power is out, especially during a disaster. The fire service needs microgrids: a combination or local power generation, storage, controls and distribution designed to meet the unique loads required for emergency service EV fleets. Microgrids provide many other benefits including community-level resiliency, safety and security; and thankfully, they are obtainable through energy-as-a-service financing. Because they produce power they also produce value, making them a practical investment for a public-private partnership. The time is now to begin planning and designing your infrastructure for an electric future, and it will include microgrids.

April, 2023 - We attended the FDIC conference in Indianapolis, IN again this year. Two years ago there was one EV at the show, last year there were 3.5 EV's, this year there were 7 EV fire trucks there! They also had a Fire Rescue Station of the Future display with energy storage and one of those electric fire trucks included. It was great to see the combination of clean energy and clean mobility coming together at a fire service event. Thanks to Tesla and H2M for making that happen this year.

We participated in Drive Electric Earth Day events at the Cleveland Zoo and the City of Hudson, OH.

The Independence, OH fire department worked with one of our EV's to test out a tool designed to immobilize an EV by simulating being connected to a charger. It worked, and their FB post attracted attention from Bryn Caswell at WEWS TV in Cleveland who did a story on electric fire trucks and microgrids.

We visited Asheville, NC and enjoyed meeting in-person with the AVL Critical Services Microgrid Group for the first time. Thanks to Kelly Gloger from SolFarm for hosting us!

We attended the EV's@Scale Event at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory outside of Knoxville , TN. It was great to meet, learn from and network with EV and Infrastructure experts from around the country.

Our Co-Owner, Michael Benson, was a guest on the EV-Resource Podcast. It was fun talking with Zack Hurst about Electrifying Municipal Fleets.

March, 2023 - We volunteered at the Cleveland Auto Show again this year with a lot of interest, and a bunch of EV's from several automobile manufacturers.

We attended the Green Truck Summit at the NTEA Work Truck show in Indianapolis, IN. Here is our commentary posted to LinkedIn about the event:

I enjoyed attending the Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis this week, but was disappointed to hear some of the same rhetoric legacy automakers used around EV's years ago: the technology isn't ready, we don't have the charging infrastructure, diesel will be around for years to come. Hearing this just confirms to me microgrids (renewable energy generation and storage) combined with electric vehicles (EV) and charging systems (EVSE) are the right solution to meet our current and future infrastructure needs all the way up to megawatt+ charging levels.

A microgrid-based EVSE system is practicable, economical and will accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels. The list of benefits from combining microgrids with EV and EVSE is lengthy, but it starts with saving money and reducing greenhouse gasses in two sectors simultaneously: power and transportation. Electrification done right is an investment, not a cost. Let's get started building out this infrastructure now, and ignore the tired rhetoric. #EV #EVSE #microgrid #GTS23 #WTW23 

January, 2023 - We start the year off by joining Stu Ungar on his podcast: Stu's EV Universe to discuss EV safety, using EV's as emergency vehicles, and developing charging infrastructure to create community-wide energy resiliency. 

Previous Years

December, 2022 - We visited the Energy Safety Response Group facility in Piqua, OH, and enjoyed a tour from Dalan Zartman from the Energy Security Agency. We discussed energy storage safety, EV charging and renewable energy microgrids with Nick Warner from ESRG. They are experts in this field, and doing great work to ensure energy storage is safe for all of us whether it is part of a vehicle or in a facility. We look forward to working with them in the future, and are happy to have them as a resource for our business.

November, 2022 - Co-Owner Michael Benson presented at the Ohio Energy Conference on the stacked values from combining electric vehicles, charging systems, and renewable energy microgrids. All of these technologies are being developed, built and used by entities across Ohio and the rest of the world. What is missed by most is to consider them together; this combination creates synergistic effects. Our participation on the panel was well received and Michael was called out as one of the best speakers at the conference. We look forward to participating again next year, and hopefully reaching an even wider audience, especially because this concept provides so many benefits, and can be accomplished very economically.

October, 2022 - We had the privilege to present to the Richfield, OH Boy Scout Troop on our electrical energy system and the electrificaiton transition. Their questions were excellent, and they really enjoyed checking out our Tesla EV and its video game screen at the end.

September, 2022 - We traveled to Europe and observed how different countries are electrifying with different EV charging system designs (some EVSE had no cables, just a plug), and distributed or utility-scale renewable energy development. Electrification is happening all over the world, and we will all learn from each other on how best to navigate this transition. 

We also participated in multiple Drive Electric events in Northeast Ohio.

August, 2022 - We had the opportunity to present on microgrids to support electric law enforcement fleets at the Police Fleet Expo in Austin, TX. We believe this is the first time law enforcement fleet leaders heard specifically about mission-critical microgrids (patent pending) which they need to support mission-critical fleets like police, fire, EMS and public works. We are looking forward to presenting more on this concept as EV adoption by municipalities continues to grow.

We also participated in the Drive Electric Ohio presentation to the Ohio Municipal League on electric vehicles, their benefits and the opportunities they create for municipalities to save taxpayer dollars.

July, 2022 - We participated in the Drive Ohio National Electric Vehicle Initiative event in Cleveland by showing off our Tesla Model 3 and explaining all the advantages EV's bring.

June, 2022 - We attended the Green Energy Ohio annual awards event in Oberlin, Ohio. Co-Owner Michael Benson presented the Community/Government Award to the City of Oberlin for running their city on 80% renewable electricity and implementing an Electric Vehicle car share program. We look forward to seeing what they will do next as they electrify their fleets and work toward 100% renewable electricity!

April, 2022 - This was a remarkable month with four electric fire trucks on display at the FDIC conference in Indianapolis, IN. We are looking forward to seeing how many there will be in 2023, and if we will finally see the electric ambulances we keep reading about.

March, 2022 - We started a podcast on mentorship with our friend and colleague, Michael Allora. We named it: Mentors on Fire. You can find it wherever your favorite podcasts are found. We start by telling our own fire service stories, then we will bring in guests to share their experiences and the lessons they have learned along the way, mentoring all of us as we listen.

Co-Owner Michael Benson was recently interviewed by GoGreenGo.org. Thank you to Eric Hancsak, the President of GoGreenGo.org, for the opportunity to share some of our expertise with you and your organization.

March, 2022 - Command Consulting LLC is now a Power a Clean Future Ohio partner! If you are a PCFO community, ask for us to work with your community to improve services and lower costs as you transition to an electric fleet powered by renewable energy. If we are already working with you, joining PCFO may be a good choice for your community.

January, 2022 - Command Consulting LLC is now a Beneficial Electrification Solutions Provider for AEP-Ohio! We look forward to working with AEP-Ohio communities help them navigate electrification in partnership with their electric utility. You can find us listed under "Electric Vehicle Technology." 

Podcasts

The purpose of the podcast is to be an awareness and educational resource for emergency and public service personnel regarding professional development, leadership, behavioral health, service specific innovations and trends, and other relevant topics.The Mentors on Fire Podcast will conduct interviews and open discussions with professionals and subject matter experts to impart knowledge, lessons learned, and experiential mentorship to all levels of emergency and public service personnel. 

In this episode, Stu speaks with Michael Benson, co-owner of Command Consulting, LLC. Michael, a retired fire chief, talks about the myths of frequent EV fires, the safety (or lack thereof) of hybrids, and the how the physics of different types of vehicles comes in to play for both safety and performance. We also talk about why EVs can be extremely beneficial for both city and emergency fleets and can save tons of money for taxpayers. We even take a deeper dive into the features and benefits of microgrids. Lots to unpack and learn!