CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

Steven Pike

Steven Pike

Recent Posts

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.


How simulators enhance substance detection in HazMat training

Written by Steven Pike on 09 Aug 2018

Historically, chemical warfare agent (CWA) training involved the use of simulants which were dispersed manually.

But new generations of intelligent, computer-based simulation tools offer a real, workable alternative.

HazMat simulation training can accurately replicate how real devices react when confronted by a range of chemical agents, taking into account the volatility of the substances, the prevailing meteorological conditions and the differing detection tactics and techniques used. 


Key facts about the nature and effects of nerve agents

Written by Steven Pike on 06 Aug 2018

The disturbing events in Amesbury, UK in which two members of the general public were exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, have once again brought into sharp focus the silent yet deadly threat of chemical warfare agents.

In this blog post we provide a summary of the key features of weaponized nerve agents, with a specific focus on the family of "fourth generation" chemical compounds that are jointly referred to as Novichoks.


The Netherlands hosts 8th annual NCT Europe CBRNe exhibition

Written by Steven Pike on 26 Jul 2018

The 8th edition of the highly successful European NCT event series, NCT Europe 2018,  took place from July 3rd to 5th at the Dutch National Training Center at the Bredero Barrack, Vught, The Netherlands.

The three-day event featured multinational CBRN capability demonstrations, live C-IED and EOD exercises, multiple workshops for civil and military responders, an annual conference and a large indoor/outdoor industry exhibition.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.