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CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

A guide to radiation safety training terminology for first responders

Written by Steven Pike on 14 Jan 2020

All emergency situations present some element of risk for first responders - however an incident can be further complicated by the presence of ionising radiation.

In some scenarios, having familiarity with the different locations where radioactivity is used can provide responders with some forewarning of the hazard that they are about to encounter - for example, in the case of a vehicular accident involving the transportation of a radiological source, or an incident that takes place within a hospital's nuclear pharmacy.

In other situations though, the radiological hazard may not be suspected, expected or immediately apparent.

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How new technology is improving first responder safety

Written by Steven Pike on 08 Jan 2020

When the pressure is on to make quick decisions in emergency response situations, the value of practical personal experience is something that can never be underestimated.

But while the "human factor" remains an inestimable force, it is also essential that first responders have access to the appropriate technological support to enable them to work safely and effectively in the field.

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Which factors matter most when selecting a radiation training system?

Written by Steven Pike on 20 Dec 2019

The first half of the twentieth century represented a period of major advancement in the harnessing of nuclear science and technology, which in turn fueled the urgency to safely utilise, manage and contain these powerful radiological materials.

Different types of radiation possess varying amounts of energy, with gamma rays being by far the most penetrating.

The ability with which personnel are able to accurately localise and detect a gamma radiation hazard is therefore crucial in reducing the risk of harmful health effects caused by exposure.

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How hands-on scenarios can enhance radiological survey training

Written by Steven Pike on 10 Dec 2019

Radiological surveying is an integral task in maintaining safety wherever quantities of ionizing radiation are in use, or where they are suspected to be present.

Whether it is in the context of a military operation, emergency first response or an industrial setting, radiation safety personnel need to be equipped with the right tools to ensure they can accurately assess their environment and determine the best course of action.

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The diverse applications of radioisotopes in modern-day industry

Written by Steven Pike on 03 Dec 2019

The ability to predict, recognise and identify the presence of potentially hazardous levels of ionising radiation in even the most "routine" of locations is a crucial skill when responding to HazMat or CBRNe incidents.

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A guide to the early history of radiological survey tools

Written by Steven Pike on 26 Nov 2019

Portable hand-held radiological survey instruments provide first responders and radiation safety personnel with the means to accurately and consistently measure external or ambient ionising radiation fields in a diverse range of environments.

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How to maximise first responder safety during radiological incidents

Written by Steven Pike on 19 Nov 2019

Developing, maintaining and testing the effectiveness of emergency preparedness and response (EPR) is a vital means of safeguarding personnel, the public and the environment in the event of a radiological incident.

While regulatory controls, standardised procedures and radiation safety audits are key to minimising the likelihood of radiological accidents, there is always the risk of an unforeseen event or some form of illicit activity that may have serious radiological consequences.

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What is the difference between external & internal radiation exposure?

Written by Steven Pike on 12 Nov 2019

Radiological incidents where there is the potential for the release of ionising radiation can occur in a wide variety of scenarios - be it a fire in an industrial facility, a transportation accident that involves radioactive materials or the deliberate use of a radiological dispersal device (RDD).

Any accident or incident that involves a radiological hazard can place significant operational demands on first response teams as well as placing those personnel at risk of exposure to potentially dangerous levels of ionising radiation.

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What are the safety risks when transporting radioactive materials?

Written by Steven Pike on 05 Nov 2019

Radioactive materials have a wide variety of applications within the fields of medicine, power generation, manufacturing and the military - and just as with any other product, there are times when these materials may need to be moved from one location to another.

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are around three million shipments of radioactive materials to, from or within the US every year.In the UK meanwhile, Public Health England (PHE) has reported that somewhere in the region of half a million packages containing radioactive materials are transported to, from or within the UK annually.

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The role of time, distance & shielding in radiation safety training

Written by Steven Pike on 28 Oct 2019

Emergency first responders face the possibility of encountering radioactive materials in even the most seemingly routine of scenarios.

It might be in the course of containing an industrial fire, or attending a road transport accident or responding to an incident within a specialist medical facility.

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