CBRNe and HazMat incidents have the potential to contaminate large numbers of the general public.
The 13th CBRNe Protection Symposium (formerly the CBW Protection Symposium) will take place at the MalmöMassän Exhibition and Congress Center in Malmö, Sweden this September 24th to 26th 2019.
The ever-evolving character of modern-day CBRNe threats has relevance that reaches far beyond military defence circles, with an increasing number of biological, chemical and explosive terrorist acts taking place in civilian settings throughout the world.
In April 2019 Birmingham played host to the largest gathering of CBRNe officials in Europe at CBRNe Summit Europe 2019.
For those who attended, the three-day event offered the opportunity to hear analysis on the CBRNe threats currently facing the UK, to get an overview of European military CBRNe capabilities and to gain better understanding of first responder techniques in the event of a terrorist attack.
CBRN and WMD terrorism, whether it occurs at home or abroad, remains an ongoing threat with the potential to inflict mass casualties. And the effects of terrorist incidents can persist long after the event, as evidenced by the after-effects of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
Just this week there were reports of the recent deaths of a further three retired FDNY firefighters, all of whom succumbed to the effects of 9/11 related illnesses believed to be caused by toxic dust at Ground Zero. All three lost their lives within a 48 hour period, bringing the number of post-9/11 FDNY employee deaths to more than 180.
One of the primary drivers of modern chemical warfare agent (CWA) training is the need to be prepared for complex and unpredictable terrorist-related incidents, but that in itself means there are some unique challenges for instructors to overcome.
In the majority of cases in CBRNe warfare, for example, the 'enemy' that you're likely to be up against may be an invisible, or near invisible one.
It is widely accepted that effective CBRNe training hinges on the opportunity for personnel to experience, and train for, a range of chemical, biological or radiological threats in the safest possible way.
The successful management of a major hazardous materials or CBRNe incident hinges on personnel having access to the right equipment - and having the know-how, experience and confidence to handle that equipment effectively.
In this blog post, we summarize the features of four essential detection, identification and monitoring (DIM) tools, all of which are regularly used in the course of live CBRNe and HazMat response.
We also compare those products with examples of high-fidelity simulator equivalents that are widely used, with great effectiveness, in the carrying out of a diverse range of safety-critical training exercises.
While accidental or deliberate CBRNe incidents are still widely considered to be fairly low probability events, their impact on citizens, society and infrastructure can be immense.
If and when they do occur, the speed of response has been shown to be absolutely critical when it comes to taking charge of the scene, avoiding further contamination and saving lives.
Intelligent simulator detector tools are used by military organisations around the world to enhance the provision of realistic Hazardous Material (HazMat) and Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNe) training exercises.
CBRNe specialists are highly-trained soldiers. They have the skills and experience to work in any environment and they have the capacity to handle a diverse variety of threats, from chemical warfare agents (CWAs) to hazardous material spills.
There is increasing recognition of the importance of conducting HazMat and CBRNe training for first responders in the most realistic conditions possible.
But that need for an authentic training environment isn't always best served through the use of actual detector equipment - whether due to health and safety risk, environmental considerations or the increased administrative burden of working with potentially hazardous simulants.
In the UK, it is not unusual for first responders to be in possession of very little (or, in some cases, nothing) in the way of detection, identification or monitoring (DIM) equipment in the course of carrying out their daily duties.
In the event of a major incident however (such as a terrorist attack, major fire, flood or a collapsed building) they may be called upon to support the activities of a specialist Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).