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

Transportation emergency preparedness with radiation simulators

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 28-Nov-2022 14:10:01

Emergency preparedness starts with building confidence and familiarity with key radiological terminology and instrumentation. This is especially the case when training for transportation emergencies.

While there’s a minimal chance of responders being exposed to harmful quantities of ionizing radiation during daily duties, there is still the very real risk of encountering radioactive material when attending the scene of a transportation accident.

This is why emergency personnel need access to key training and technical assistance to safely and effectively mitigate the effects of radiation incidents.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • How the Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program (TEPP) can teach responders how to react to radiation accidents
  • The importance of real-experience training to support emergency preparedness
  • A new training tool which can elevate responder radiation training

Related: Running a Safe, Cost-Effective, and Efficient Radiation Training Simulation

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5 Ways Index Cards May Be Inhibiting Your First Responder Training

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 25-Feb-2022 12:35:42

If you’re a first responder, you have probably undergone training with index cards at some point in your career. This tried-and-tested method helps trainers provide information to downrange operators that should initiate a response or action from those operators. 

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Running A Safe, Cost-Effective, and Efficient Radiation Training Simulation

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 01-Feb-2022 15:54:04



On the surface, radiation training can seem somewhat straightforward: teach students how to properly and safely respond to situations involving radiation. However, as many CBRNe instructors know, it’s not that simple. 

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Using simulated sources to train for live radiological incidents

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 27-Apr-2021 13:00:00

Training is an essential aspect of preparing radiation professionals for the realities of live radiological incidents, whether they are operating in the field of first response, law enforcement, customs and border control or the military.

While much of the essential theoretical and regulatory information can be conveyed in the classroom setting, there is also the vital need to exercise, hone and verify that knowledge through hands-on training.

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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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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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