CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

Steven Pike

Steven Pike

Recent Posts

Simulator training: preparing radiation personnel for real-world events

Written by Steven Pike

The successful detection, identification and mitigation of radioactive threats relies on having access to the right equipment, knowing which equipment to select in which environment and being able to interpret the readings that are obtained.

In situations where there is a known presence of radioactive materials, the primary objective will be to monitor and measure in order to improve awareness - whether to establish the strength of the radioactive field, to define the boundaries of the radioactive area or to monitor the spread of contamination.


Are first responders sufficiently prepared for radiological incidents?

Written by Steven Pike on 29-Dec-2020 13:00:00

Major incidents involving ionising radiation are thankfully rare, but this can mean that many firefighters or first responders may have little or no first-hand experience of handling the challenges  of a real-life radiological emergency.

While the prospect of attending the aftermath of a deliberate radiological act such as the detonation of a “dirty bomb” is highly unlikely day-to-day, there are other less obvious examples of radiological hazards that may be overlooked in the course of attending what appears to be a routine event. 


What are the mental health effects of CBRN emergency response?

Written by Steven Pike on 15-Dec-2020 13:00:00

The uncontrolled and unpredictable nature of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) incidents can place a substantial strain on the psychological and physical health of those tasked with emergency first response.

While the importance of wellbeing in the workplace is a subject that has gained increasing momentum in the UK in response to rising mental health issues within the wider labour market, it is only recently that the mental health needs of first responders have started to receive more attention.


Could micro reactors be the answer to the carbon-emissions crisis?

Written by Steven Pike on 01-Dec-2020 13:00:00

Seventy years ago, electricity was generated by a nuclear reactor for the very first time at the EBR-I experimental station on the outskirts of Idaho, USA.

Three years later, in Obninsk Russia, a nuclear power station would go on to produce the world's first ever electricity for a power grid.

Through the 1960s and 70s many more nuclear reactors were constructed all over the world, with many countries envisioning a future of cheap and emission-free electricity.


Addressing new and emerging challenges in nuclear emergency response

Written by Steven Pike on 24-Nov-2020 13:00:00

Radioactivity and natural sources of radiation are ever-present features in our environment, with radioactive substances playing an invaluable role in the development of global medicine, industry and agriculture.

The risk that exposure to radiation can pose to workers and the wider public however is something that must be continuously monitored and managed.


Enhancing the simulation of real-life CBRN threats

Written by Steven Pike on 17-Nov-2020 13:00:00

Effective chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threat detection relies on ensuring that response personnel are fully confident in the use of their operational equipment before they step foot into a real-life hazardous situation.

While essential knowledge can of course be gradually acquired through exposure to live incidents, the ability to handle vital CBRN detection equipment, and to interpret the readings that are obtained, is not something that can simply be 'picked up on the job.'


How simulators are aiding the UK's counter-CBRN capabilities

Written by Steven Pike on 10-Nov-2020 13:00:00

Preparing for the possibility of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attack on British soil is something that has taken a back seat over the last couple of decades, with the UK's military efforts being largely focused on CBRN concerns in the Arab Gulf and Syria.

But as David Oliver outlined in an article for the Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Warfare magazine CBNW earlier this year, that focus had to be rapidly redirected in March 2018 in response to the Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury, Wiltshire.


13th annual CBRNe Convergence to step into the virtual world

Written by Steven Pike

The annual CBRNe Convergence conference and exhibition has long been a popular fixture in the CBRNe and HazMat event calendar for industry professionals looking to connect, expand their knowledge and extend their market reach.

But as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to reverberate throughout the world, it was clear that if this year's event was to go ahead it would need to be able to do so in an adaptive, resourceful and agile way.


Addressing the challenges of safe and realistic multi-gas training

Written by Steven Pike on 22-Oct-2020 13:00:00

For many years now, multi-gas meters have served as an invaluable resource to protect the environment and aid in the safe operations of technical rescue teams, firefighters and HazMat crews.

While there are a wide variety of gas detector products currently available, they have all been designed with one common goal in mind - to provide the user with a visual or audio indication as to the hazardous nature of the environment they are about to enter.


Safeguarding critical infrastructure against radiological threats

Written by Steven Pike on 08-Oct-2020 13:00:00

Any incident that involves the use of a chemical, biological or radiological or nuclear (CBRN) material can pose a substantial threat to not just human safety but also to the viability of a country's commercial and governmental infrastructure.

While the historical record of CBRN emergencies involving radiological or nuclear materials has so far been thankfully limited, the risk of a "low probability, high impact" event is nonetheless very real and something that must be prepared for.