CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

Steven Pike

Steven Pike

Recent Posts

What is the difference between external & internal radiation exposure?

Written by Steven Pike on 12 Nov 2019

Radiological incidents where there is the potential for the release of ionising radiation can occur in a wide variety of scenarios - be it a fire in an industrial facility, a transportation accident that involves radioactive materials or the deliberate use of a radiological dispersal device (RDD).

Any accident or incident that involves a radiological hazard can place significant operational demands on first response teams as well as placing those personnel at risk of exposure to potentially dangerous levels of ionising radiation.


What are the safety risks when transporting radioactive materials?

Written by Steven Pike on 05 Nov 2019

Radioactive materials have a wide variety of applications within the fields of medicine, power generation, manufacturing and the military - and just as with any other product, there are times when these materials may need to be moved from one location to another.

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are around three million shipments of radioactive materials to, from or within the US every year.In the UK meanwhile, Public Health England (PHE) has reported that somewhere in the region of half a million packages containing radioactive materials are transported to, from or within the UK annually.


The role of time, distance & shielding in radiation safety training

Written by Steven Pike on 28 Oct 2019

Emergency first responders face the possibility of encountering radioactive materials in even the most seemingly routine of scenarios.

It might be in the course of containing an industrial fire, or attending a road transport accident or responding to an incident within a specialist medical facility.


A guide to the features and functions of gamma survey meters

Written by Steven Pike on 15 Oct 2019

The monitoring of gamma radiation is crucial for preserving human life and maintaining environmental safety, whether it is in the context of military peacekeeping activities, border control, law enforcement, first response or as part of routine surveillance within medical or industrial facilities.


What are the key features and health effects of ionizing radiation?

Written by Steven Pike on 04 Oct 2019

When we contemplate the possibility of responding to a serious incident involving ionizing radiation it can be hard not to summon up images of catastrophic events such as Fukushima or Chernobyl.

In reality however, emergencies that involve ionizing radiation can take a variety of forms that can vary widely in their severity.


The risks of oxygen deficiency & oxygen enrichment in confined spaces

Written by Steven Pike on 26 Sep 2019

When we think about all of the hazardous materials that a first responder might potentially expect to come into contact with, it is the things that can't be sensed that can often be the hardest to control.

And when an incident is unfolding inside a confined space, even the most subtle of changes in the atmosphere have the potential to be not just harmful but life threatening.


How HazMat training in public settings can benefit first responders

Written by Steven Pike on 20 Sep 2019

Specialist HazMat training exercises can provide vital learning opportunities for first responders by enabling them to put into practice the knowledge and skills they will rely on when tackling hazardous materials incidents.

When there is the chance to conduct these HazMat training scenarios in a real-life setting, instructors can also offer trainees the added advantage of being able to experience what would normally be a "staged" exercise in as realistic a context as possible.


The role of Dynamic Risk Assessments in safeguarding first responders

Written by Steven Pike on 13 Sep 2019

The National Ambulance Service Command and Control Guidance, published in April 2019, brings together lessons learned from recent major incidents and event responses both from within the UK and around the world, as well as drawing on the experiences of its partners in the Police and Fire and Rescue Service.

One of the resounding messages of this document is the vital contribution that command decisions play in enhancing clinical outcomes, increasing survival rates and maintaining first responder safety. 


Is Level A still the best PPE choice for HazMat professionals?

Written by Steven Pike on 04 Sep 2019

For the last thirty plus years, the HazMat training community has looked to Level A personal protective equipment (PPE) as the best way to safeguard HazMat specialists and first responders when handling chemical incidents.

But is Level A protection always the best choice? And are there some situations where Level A might actually be causing more harm than it does good?

These were just a few of the questions that were raised in a recent podcast interview on the online HazMat forum The HazMat Guys, featuring personnel protection expert Jeff Stull from the 'Rethink Level A' campaign.


HazMat training - what are the five joint working principles of JESIP?

Written by Steven Pike on 30 Aug 2019

As HazMat and CBRNe incidents become larger in scale, more complex and more unpredictable, the ability for emergency services agencies to be able to work together has never been more crucial.

In the UK, reviews of response to major national incidents have confirmed the capabilities of emergency services when carrying out their individual roles.

But a whole new set of challenges can arise when these separate groups are called upon to demonstrate interoperability.