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CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

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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A guide to the four levels of Hazardous Materials (HazMat) response

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 30-Jul-2020 13:00:00

Hazardous materials that are mishandled, incorrectly transported or used with malicious intent, can pose a substantial risk to human health and the environment.

How effectively hazardous materials (HazMat) incidents are managed and resolved hinges on the knowledge, training and skill of those charged with response.

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How new technology is improving first responder safety

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

When the pressure is on to make quick decisions in emergency response situations, the value of practical personal experience is something that can never be underestimated.

But while the "human factor" remains an inestimable force, it is also essential that first responders have access to the appropriate technological support to enable them to work safely and effectively in the field.

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How HazMat training in public settings can benefit first responders

Written by Steven Pike on 20-Sep-2019 13:00:00

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.

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The role of Dynamic Risk Assessments in safeguarding first responders

Written by Steven Pike on 13-Sep-2019 13:00:00

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. 

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

Written by Steven Pike on 04-Sep-2019 13:00:00

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.

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

Written by Steven Pike on 30-Aug-2019 13:00:00

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.

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CBRNe & HazMat threats: how prepared are our healthcare providers?

Written by Steven Pike on 30-May-2019 10:45:00

CBRNe and HazMat incidents have the potential to contaminate large numbers of the general public.

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How does After Action Review benefit HazMat training?

Written by Steven Pike on 23-May-2019 13:00:00

Emergency response teams are constantly looking for ways to improve their operations.

Simulated exercises, training classes and seminars can all provide valuable insight into tactics and technologies that can be applied in real life HazMat incidents.

However unless feedback on incident response and command is recorded (and can be easily shared with personnel), a valuable learning opportunity can risk being lost.

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Visit the International HazMat Response Teams Conference 2019

Written by Steven Pike on 21-May-2019 13:00:00

The latest product developments and innovations in HazMat training and safety will be on show at the International Hazmat Response Teams Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, June 13th to 16th 2019.

This highly-regarded annual event is organized by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and typically attracts a wide range of HazMat professionals working in the fields of first response, emergency planning, regulatory compliance, counter-terrorism, federal facilities and law enforcement.

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