CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret.

Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret.
Sergeant Major Bryan W Sommers has forged a distinguished career in the fields of CBRNe and HazMat training. He recently retired after twenty-two years service in the US Army, with fourteen years spent operating specifically in Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) environments. In 2020 he was appointed as Argon Electronics' North American business development manager.

Recent Posts

Training for the "unknowns" of hazardous materials response

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 16-Mar-2021 13:00:00

The New York City Fire Department‘s dedicated HazMat unit, HazMat Company 1, is responsible for attending a vast array of major emergencies, hazardous materials incidents and terrorism-related disasters citywide.

Supporting the team in their efforts is a select group of FDNY EMS units known as Hazardous Material Tactical Units, whose members are trained to provide emergency medical care and decontamination within hazardous environments.

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Harnessing the power of simulators in radiological response training

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 02-Mar-2021 13:00:00

Technology and equipment is making a powerful contribution to the realism and learning outcomes of radiological training programs for emergency responders, firefighters and HazMat personnel.

With the help of innovative new simulator-based training tools, instructors are able provide their trainees with the crucial hands-on experience that they need to safely handle the challenges of live radiation incidents.

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Four ways to integrate the Radsim GS4 into your radiological scenarios

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 23-Feb-2021 13:00:00

The use of simulation within a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) training environment is not a new concept. 

Over the years, CBRN instructors have become well used to employing a variety of different simulation types - from notes written on index cards, to the calling out of verbal cues over the trainee’s shoulder, or the use of multiple harmful chemicals as false positives that react to chemical detectors.

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What are the most pressing challenges for the global CBRN community?

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 09-Feb-2021 13:00:00

The continued development of chemical and biological weapons, the re-emergence of Novichok nerve agents and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are all placing unprecedented pressure on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) response capability worldwide.

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How radiation simulators can aid transportation emergency preparedness

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 26-Jan-2021 13:00:00

Building confidence and familiarity with key radiological terminology and instrumentation is a vital aspect of emergency management preparedness.

As part of its commitment to enhancing transportation incident response, the US Department of Energy has developed the Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program (TEPP) which offers a simple, practical and responder-friendly approach to the complex subject of radiation.

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The new technologies protecting against CWA exposure on the battlefield

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 19-Jan-2021 13:00:00

Maintaining combat readiness is a vital requirement for military personnel who are deployed to potentially environments where there is risk of exposure to chemical warfare agents (CWAs) or toxic industrial chemicals (TICs).

The development, production and use of chemical weapons continues to remain a significant global concern, due in no small part to the wide availability of the active substances that are used to create them and the relative ease with which the methods or recipes for CWA production can be obtained and shared online.

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How COVID-19 is reshaping the approach to emergency response training

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 05-Jan-2021 13:00:00

Realistic hands-on training is perhaps one of the most proactive steps that can ensure emergency response personnel are equipped to counter the challenges of hazardous materials and CBRN incidents.

The events of the past twelve months however have been quite unlike anything ever experienced before, with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic placing unprecedented pressure on training budgets and on the way in which programs of instruction are delivered.

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Multi-gas simulation offers safety boost for confined space personnel

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 22-Dec-2020 13:00:00

According to statistics released by the US Bureau of Labor, more than 2 million workers enter a permit required confined space environment every year for the purposes of routine maintenance, repairs, or inspections.

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How can simulator detector systems benefit military CWA instruction?

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 08-Dec-2020 13:00:00

Regular and rigorous training has a hugely important role to play in ensuring that military personnel acquire the essential knowledge, experience and practical skills that their demanding roles require.

The invisible and intangible nature of many chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats however can make them especially challenging to train for, and especially so when it comes to the conducting of effective chemical agent detection.

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How CBRN training programmes can benefit from lessons learned

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 27-Oct-2020 13:00:00

As major incidents such as the 2018 Novichok nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury have demonstrated, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) emergencies can push national and international response capabilities to their very limits.

At the same time though, these types of challenging CBRN events can also provide a powerful learning opportunity by highlighting the core skills, resources and training that underpin emergency response.

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