CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

Coming events: what's new in HazMat & CBRNe for 2019

Written by Steven Pike on 13 Dec 2018

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.


How inter-agency collaboration can enhance HazMat safety training

Written by Steven Pike on 13 Dec 2018

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. 


What is the best HazMat training method to keep first responders safe

Written by Steven Pike on 26 Nov 2018

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.


How computer game tech can bring a CBRN tabletop exercise to life

Written by Steven Pike on 23 Nov 2018

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.


Chemical hazard training - comparing the LCD3.3 and the LCD3.3-SIM

Written by Steven Pike on 08 Nov 2018

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.


Understanding the HazMat risk of industrial chemical incidents

Written by Steven Pike on 24 Oct 2018

Chemical manufacturing facilities are full of potential hazards which, if mishandled, can present a very real risk both to the safety of workers and to the wider communities in which those factories are located.

Even when the most stringent of precautions are taken, accidents can occur - whether due to human error, insufficient training, a natural disaster or an incident that results from a malicious act.

Depending on the nature of the event, HazMat response teams will be required to work with police, paramedics or environmental health agencies to identify the threat, reduce harm and resolve the situation.


CBRNe Convergence 2018: what to see and do

Written by Steven Pike on 10 Oct 2018

Argon Electronics will be among the global CBRNe and HazMat professionals at the eleventh annual CBRNe Convergence which takes place in Orlando, Florida, from November 6th to 8th, 2018.

This year's event brings together leading world experts in the fields of WMD, chemical attacks, biological weapons and HazMat - with the programme of activities tying together on the theme of the merging of military and civilian response to CBRNe and IED threats.


What are the most common HazMat threats for first responders?

Written by Steven Pike on 08 Oct 2018

 The unintentional release of toxic chemicals can pose a wide range of physical, health and environmental hazards. And when it comes to the storage, handling or transport of hazardous materials (HazMat), safety is paramount.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines HazMat as any substance that is potentially harmful to human health or the environment. 

While there are a multitude of precautions that industries will take to stay safe, in the event of accidental spillage due to a road traffic accident or as the result of an industrial incident, highly trained HazMat crews will be called on to mitigate the threat.

In this blog post we explore eight of the most common hazardous materials that first responders are likely to encounter in the event of an industrial accident or road transport incident.


How prepared do firefighters feel to handle HazMat incidents?

Written by Steven Pike on 01 Oct 2018

From transport accidents involving hazardous compounds, to the mishandling of household chemicals, or the deliberate release of hazardous materials, fire department crews across the country need to be equipped and trained to respond to a myriad of potential HazMat events.

So just how prepared do firefighters really feel when it comes to responding to the unique challenges of HazMat incidents?

In a bid to answer this question, the online resource for fire professionals, FireRescue1, conducted a survey of its readers to gauge their views on the best ways to achieve safe and effective HazMat response.


What are the linchpins of effective HazMat response?

Written by Steven Pike on 19 Sep 2018

Hazardous materials (HazMat) incidents most commonly occur as the result of the transportation or industrial use of large production volume hazardous substances.

Incidents that involve chemical warfare agents or terrorism, however, can also not be ignored. While events of this nature are still comparatively rare, the impact on human life, environment and infrastructure presents a demanding set of challenges for first response personnel.

The manufacture of illegal drugs, is another growing issue for HazMat incident response. The fentanyl epidemic, for example, poses a significant health risk to firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement officers who may inadvertently come into contact with contaminated surfaces.