CBRNe and HazMat incidents have the potential to contaminate large numbers of the general public.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exhibitions, trade-shows and conferences can provide an invaluable opportunity for HazMat and CBRNe practitioners to view, try and compare the very latest developments in chemical warfare, equipment, machinery, tools and technologies.
In this blog post we highlight seven internationally recognized HazMat and CBRNe events that will be taking place around the world in 2019.
As HazMat incidents become ever more challenging, complex and unpredictable, there is a growing reliance on the knowledge and expertise of highly-skilled teams across a variety of agencies.
A more recent case in point was the operational response to the Novichok nerve agent poisonings in Salisbury in the UK in 2018. This event, which garnered enormous international attention, brought together the skills of police, fire crews, paramedics, the military and specialist HazMat teams over the course of the incident - from initial response to containment, decontamination and the ensuing investigation.
While regulations exist to guide HazMat training requirements for first responders, the reality is that many personnel still don't consider themselves to be adequately skilled in the use of their equipment.
Sometimes it's because there simply isn't enough time to carry out regular and structured training programmes. Sometimes this lack of preparedness comes as the result of budget cuts where training is one of the first things to go.
A tabletop exercise can offer an easy-to-execute and cost-effective means of simulating an emergency CBRN or HazMat situation in order to test operational response, to exercise your command structure and to improve the functionality of your team.
The less formal and low-stress nature of the training environment however, means there is also the risk of delivering a far from authentic learning experience.
The ability to deliver consistent, engaging and true-to-life chemical hazard detection training scenarios relies on regular access to realistic, hands-on equipment.
What's vital is that these training tools replicate not only the readings and the responsiveness of real detectors, but that they also provide trainees with an authentic experience that recreates the potential challenges that they will face in actual incidents.