CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

Marriage of SAAB Training Systems Gamer and Argon’s CBRN PlumeSIM

Written by Steven Pike on 17 Sep 2017

SAAB Training Systems Gamer and Argon’s CBRN PlumeSIM v2

Live training systems such as SAAB’s Gamer have been in use by many organisations worldwide for a number of years to deliver effective training in a Live environment. Support for CBRN, however has been minimal, and in general has not extended beyond monitoring if the respirator has been donned.

Argon Electronics and SAAB Training Systems have cooperated to address this limitation by implementing an integration between Argons’ PlumeSIM Live CBRN training system and SAABs’ Gamer system.

This effort has resulted in the ability to generate CBRN threats within PlumeSIM that are reflected within the Gamer EXCON in real time. PlumeSIM also provided integration with Argons’ extensive range of Radiological and Chemical Warfare training simulators and their associated After Action Review capability.


How to create realistic first responder radiation training scenarios

Written by Steven Pike on 25 Jul 2017

The ability to project realism into CBRN training is an ongoing challenge for first responders. And especially so when it comes to the practical, hands-on use of highly specialist equipment such as radiation detectors.

When firefighter Ross Smallcombe was asked to provide the duty crew at the Ryde Fire Station on the Isle of Wight with a short training session on the use of their service's Mirion Rados RDS 200 Universal Survey Meter, he quickly realised that there were some significant gaps in the crew's practical hands-on experience of the device. 

"The biggest problem I had was being able to carry out realistic first responder training that gave a real understanding and hands-on approach to radiation," says Smallcombe.

"After visiting the Argon website, I contacted them to enquire about the use of a Rados RDS200 simulatorWithin an hour I was having a conversation with Steven Pike (Managing Director) who was willing to assist me with my plans and loan me a kit which included simulation emitters (both directional and spherical), simulation powders and liquids, the GMP-11-SIM simulation beta contamination probe and EPD-MK2-SIM (personal dosimeters).


CBRNe training - how 3 types compare

Written by Steven Pike on 19 May 2017

Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNe) training provides individuals with the technical knowledge and practical expertise to detect and avoid chemical threats, helping them to protect themselves and carry out decontamination.

In addition, CBRNe training can act as a deterrent – an adversary may be less inclined to use chemical or radiological warfare agents if they know their opponents are well-prepared to deal with and mitigate the consequences.

Delivering CBRNe training has become more challenging. Training scenarios must be able to realistically replicate the ability to detect and monitor a near-invisible or invisible hazard as it moves through the air or contaminates equipment, infrastructure or terrain.

Good training increases protection of organisations and personnel, builds confidence, and improves decision-making and communication skills, and currently comes in three main forms:


How to improve radiation safety in nuclear power facilities

Written by Steven Pike on 02 May 2017

Improving radiation safety at nuclear power facilities remains a significant, ongoing concern for regulators, energy providers and the general public. 

A report by radiation safety experts revealed that staff at a major UK nuclear facility did “not have the level if capability required to respond to nuclear emergencies effectively”, a situation that “could have led to delays in responding to a nuclear emergency and a prolonged release of radioactive material off-site”.

The report indicates that is necessary to enhance and improve training in radiological instrument use within the civil nuclear sector. To help achieve this, simulation systems are available that enable many of the obligatory training requirements to be carried out in highly realistic scenarios without the use of real radioactive sources and their associated expense and regulatory limitations.


The role of CBRN simulation training in industrial accidents

Written by Steven Pike on 25 Apr 2017

Major industrial accidents are, fortunately, rare. However, when an incident does occur the fallout can be enormous. 

In 2005, the Buncefield explosion in the UK injured 43 people, registered 2.4 on the Richter scale, and emitted a cloud of soot and other contaminants into the atmosphere, which stretched all the way to France and Spain. The economic impact was estimated to be around £1 billion, comprising compensation for loss, costs to the aviation sector, the emergency response and the costs of the investigations (HSE).

When the worst does happen, it is vital that both staff and emergency responders are fully equipped and trained to deal with the consequences. Here, we explore the role of CBRN simulation training in achieving this outcome.


CBRN training: traditional methods vs. simulation

Written by Steven Pike on 21 Apr 2017

The threat of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) incidents is a very real one. Whether malicious and intentional - such as in the context of warfare or a terrorist attack - or accidental - such as a spill or leakage - the consequences of CBRN incidents can be incredibly destructive. 

Therefore, it is vital that those individuals who would be on the front line if the worst were to happen (namely, the military and emergency services staff) are well-equipped to respond to and mitigate the fallout. 

Traditionally, CBRN training has been carried out using live agents or simulant agents – and this continues to be the case. More recently, technology has enabled training to be undertaken using simulation. Both approaches have their advantages and drawbacks.

Here, we will explore how they measure up against one another.


4 benefits of using simulators for CBRN training

Written by Steven Pike on 13 Apr 2017

CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) training is essential, to safeguard people and countries from the terrible effects of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear disasters – whether in the context of warfare, a terrorist incident, or another situation.

Intense and challenging, CBRN training provides students with the skills and expertise they would require in the event of a CBRN incident - when quick-thinking and a measured response are crucial. 

There are three main types of CBRN training: live agent training (LAT), simulant agent training (SAT) and simulation training. Each of these invites an in-depth exploration. However, in this post, we will be focusing on simulation training, specifically taking a closer look at the advantages of this method.

Whether simulation training is being carried out by military personnel or emergency services staff, the main driver for using simulators is that you can replicate the ability to detect and monitor a near-invisible or invisible CBRN hazard as it moves through the air or contaminates equipment, infrastructure or terrain.

So, what are some of the key benefits of using simulators for CBRN training?