CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

What is the most realistic alternative to Live Agent Training?

Written by Steven Pike on 05 Jul 2018

Group based Live Agent Training (LAT) provides military personnel and first responders with an unrivalled opportunity to gain practical experience in the detection, identification and decontamination of toxic chemicals and chemical warfare agents (CWAs).

And when considered as part of a wider training strategy, LAT is often regarded as the preferred method to ensure that personnel are fully prepared for the challenges of live CWA operations.

But alongside the undisputed value of LAT, there are also some important practical and logistical considerations to bear in mind.

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9 scenarios for realistic chemical warfare agent training

Written by Steven Pike on 28 Jun 2018

A primary consideration when encountering a Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) or other hazardous material is to be able to recognize, identify and contain the threat.

CWA training scenarios can provide an invaluable opportunity to prepare HazMat and CBRNe crews for the realities that they are likely to encounter in real-life incidents.

In this blog post we explore 9 simple CWA training scenarios that incorporate the use of intelligent electronic simulator detectors to create effective, safe and highly realistic training experiences.

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New technology on track to vitalize confined space HazMat training

Written by Steven Pike on 25 Jun 2018

Teams operating in confined spaces within hazardous industrial buildings or process facilities understand all too well the importance of adhering to strict health and safety regulations.

The hazards that confined spaces present can be physical or atmospheric in nature - from the risks of asphyxiation or entrapment to exposure to extremes of temperature or the release of toxic chemicals.

According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, on average two people die in the US every day as the result of incidents that take place within confined spaces.

In many cases too, it is not just the victim who is at risk, but the rescuer or first responder who may be unaware of the hazard they are about to encounter.

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How to keep first responders safe in chemical warfare agent incidents

Written by Steven Pike on 19 Jun 2018

Training for chemical warfare agent (CWA) incidents relies on providing first response personnel with realistic, safe and flexible learning opportunities that accurately reflect the diverse variety of CW threats. 

With the increasing frequency of CW incidents being carried out in civilian settings, there is recognition of the growing reliance on civil response teams to be able to confidently take the helm prior to specialist military units arriving on scene.

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6 questions to ask before upgrading your CWA training equipment

Written by Steven Pike on 13 Jun 2018

The risk of a deliberate or unintentional hazardous material or radiological release is an acute and all too real challenge for military and civil emergency response teams across the globe.

In most cases the responsibility for effective handling of such events lies in the hands of individual national, regional and local government agencies who must develop their own chemical warfare agent (CWA) training procedures in order to be able to effectively respond to any threat.

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Key facts about the CBRN Exhibition 2018

Written by Steven Pike on 11 Jun 2018

Argon's award-winning instrumented CBRNe exercise systems PlumeSim and PlumeSIM-SMART will be among the array of innovative technologies available to see live in action at the fifth annual CBRN Exhibition in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, this June.

Visitors will also be able to view Argon's range of simulators for the Smiths Detection M4 JCADandM4A1 JCAD chemical agent detectors - as well as a selection of simulation probes for the Canberra/MirionAN/PDR-77, AN/VDR-2andRDS100 radiation detection systems.

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How to make radiation safety training easier and more effective

Written by Steven Pike on 23 May 2018

A key objective for HazMat and CBRNe instructors is to be able to devise realistic radiation safety training opportunities that replicate the challenges and conditions of live incidents.

There are a variety of key skills that you may well want to be able to observe and assess in your radiation safety training exercises, including:

  • Their understanding of critical search, reconnaissance, survey and location skills
  • Their comprehension of inverse square law
  • Their knowledge of isodoserate mapping, shielding and safe demarcation
  • Their understanding of contamination, cross-contamination and decontamination

Hands-on training exercises can offer an invaluable opportunity to test your students' ability to read, interpret and accurately convey the information from their survey meters.

And wherever possible, these training exercises should enable you to mimic the complex physical and psychological challenges that your trainees are likely to face in real-life radiation events.

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A guide to 6 simulator detectors for use in realistic CWA training

Written by Steven Pike on 17 May 2018

Electronic simulator detectors can be used in a wide range of chemical warfare agent (CWA) exercises to create realistic, hands-on training experiences for police, first responders and the military.

Unlike other traditional forms of CWA training that may rely on the use of live agents or simulants, simulator detectors and their electronic sources offer the advantage of offering compete safety for trainees, their instructors, the environment and the general public. 

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How to conduct safe CWA training for incidents in civilian areas

Written by Steven Pike on 03 May 2018

One of the primary goals of chemical warfare agent (CWA) training is the ability to be able to ensure operational readiness in the event of a terrorist related threat or deliberate act of aggression.

The challenge though is to provide realistic, hands-on training opportunities that offer the highest degree of authenticity for the trainees while at the same time preventing any risk to the general public, to the environment or to the participants themselves.

So what options exist that enable instructors to create realistic CWA training scenarios which safely and accurately reflect the conditions of incidents in civilian locations?

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What are the challenges of decontamination of chemical warfare agents?

Written by Steven Pike on 27 Apr 2018

The environmental impact of incidents involving Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) can be long-lasting and requires meticulous and expert decontamination by chemical operations specialists.

The clean-up process also takes considerable time, as has been evidenced in the case of the Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury, UK in March 2018.

Nearly two months after the incident, a total of nine key sites connected to the attack remain under guard behind high-security barriers while they await specialist decontamination.

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