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CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

CBRNe Convergence 2018: what to see and do

Written by Steven Pike on 10 Oct 2018

Argon Electronics will be among the global CBRNe and HazMat professionals at the eleventh annual CBRNe Convergence which takes place in Orlando, Florida, from November 6th to 8th, 2018.

This year's event brings together leading world experts in the fields of WMD, chemical attacks, biological weapons and HazMat - with the programme of activities tying together on the theme of the merging of military and civilian response to CBRNe and IED threats.

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What are the most common HazMat threats for first responders?

Written by Steven Pike on 08 Oct 2018

 The unintentional release of toxic chemicals can pose a wide range of physical, health and environmental hazards. And when it comes to the storage, handling or transport of hazardous materials (HazMat), safety is paramount.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines HazMat as any substance that is potentially harmful to human health or the environment. 

While there are a multitude of precautions that industries will take to stay safe, in the event of accidental spillage due to a road traffic accident or as the result of an industrial incident, highly trained HazMat crews will be called on to mitigate the threat.

In this blog post we explore eight of the most common hazardous materials that first responders are likely to encounter in the event of an industrial accident or road transport incident.

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How prepared do firefighters feel to handle HazMat incidents?

Written by Steven Pike on 01 Oct 2018

From transport accidents involving hazardous compounds, to the mishandling of household chemicals, or the deliberate release of hazardous materials, fire department crews across the country need to be equipped and trained to respond to a myriad of potential HazMat events.

So just how prepared do firefighters really feel when it comes to responding to the unique challenges of HazMat incidents?

In a bid to answer this question, the online resource for fire professionals, FireRescue1, conducted a survey of its readers to gauge their views on the best ways to achieve safe and effective HazMat response.

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What are the linchpins of effective hazmat response?

Written by Steven Pike on 19 Sep 2018

Hazardous materials (HazMat) incidents most commonly occur as the result of the transportation or industrial use of large production volume hazardous substances.

Incidents that involve chemical warfare agents or terrorism, however, can also not be ignored. While events of this nature are still comparatively rare, the impact on human life, environment and infrastructure presents a demanding set of challenges for first response personnel.

The manufacture of illegal drugs, is another growing issue for HazMat incident response. The fentanyl epidemic, for example, poses a significant health risk to firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement officers who may inadvertently come into contact with contaminated surfaces.

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How CBRN training with simulators reduces reliance on PPE

Written by Steven Pike on 12 Sep 2018

With the increasing prevalence of the use of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) in conflicts, the need for hands-on training in the use of detector equipment is even more crucial in ensuring that military personnel are able to respond quickly, safely and effectively to live incidents.

An ideal way to achieve operational readiness is to provide realistic training exercises that use detector simulators and software to demonstrate the nature, challenges and unpredictability of the threats and the environments that soldiers may be exposed to.

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The benefit of simulator training for CBRN reconnaissance vehicles

Written by Steven Pike on 06 Sep 2018

The primary task of a CBRN reconnaissance vehicle crew is to confirm the presence of a potential chemical warfare agent (CWA) and to report that information to their command structure for analysis.

The intelligence that a crew provides to its Cell Controller is crucial in enabling senior officers to make mission-critical decisions on where, or where not, to deploy their forces within a battle space.

A CBRN reconnaissance vehicle creates a cocoon of relative 'safety' for its crew. But it is also a challenging environment in which to operate.

The vehicles can be cramped and uncomfortable, there is the risk of exposure to toxic hazards, the danger of direct attack by enemy forces, and the potential for the malfunctioning of the vehicle's Collective Protection (COLPRO) system.

For these reasons, simulator training for CBRN reconnaissance vehicles can have a vital role to play in providing CBRN personnel with the most realistic - and safe - training experiences possible.

In this blog post we explore the role of simulators in CBRN reconnaissance vehicle field training and we discuss the features of the four primary simulator training options currently available.

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What to look for in a simulator detector system for CBRN training

Written by Steven Pike on 04 Sep 2018

The threat of an accidental or deliberate release of a hazardous material (HazMat) or Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) is increasingly being recognized as an acute global challenge.

In the event of an incident, swift detection and response is crucial. And the accuracy and quality of the information obtained - and how that information is communicated up the chain of command - is of paramount importance.

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How hands-on experience with PPE aids chemical warfare agent training

Written by Steven Pike on 30 Aug 2018

The ability to deliver realistic, engaging and safe Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) training is a vital element of preparing service personnel for live experiences in the field.

Military crews, first response teams and hazardous materials (HazMat) personnel are regularly called on to lead responses in contaminated environments, and at significant personal risk.

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Coming events: what's new in HazMat & CBRNe for 2019

Written by Steven Pike on 28 Aug 2018

Exhibitions, trade-shows and conferences can provide an invaluable opportunity for HazMat and CBRNe practitioners to view, try and compare the very latest developments in chemical warfare, equipment, machinery, tools and technologies.

In this blog post we highlight seven internationally recognized HazMat and CBRNe events that will be taking place around the world in 2019.

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What is the difference between HazMat and CBRNe?

Written by Steven Pike on 14 Aug 2018

Although HazMat (hazardous materials) and CBRNe (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) emergency response share certain common ground, there have always traditionally been some fundamental differences in terms of the focus, method and priorities of each approach.

While HazMat incidents may have typically comprised smaller-scale, accidental and non-weaponized events, for example, CBRNe missions have tended to be in response to the deliberate use of chemical warfare agents (CWAs), often under battlefield conditions and within the context of planned, special intelligence operations.

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