Building on McMaster Universities Health Physics and the Hamilton Fire Department HAZMAT teams long history of successful collaboration and mutual support.
During Thursdays in October, the McMaster Health Physics Department has been conducting refresher training on radiological incident response and radiation safety with the Hamilton Fire Department (HFD) HAZMAT crews.
McMaster Health Physics and the HFD HAZMAT team have a long history of successful collaboration and mutual support. This year’s activities were focussed on preparing the team to respond to a transportation accident involving radioactive material. It builds on previous years training focused on radiation safety fundamentals, radiation and contamination measurements, general radiological incident response and response to contaminated casualties. HFD has supported McMaster Health Physics in the use and selection of protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus as well as support in emergency procedure development. The organizations have also successfully in the past conducted two large scale exercises together (photos on the right of the exercise conducted last year).
The university is very pleased that they are able to provide a unique training environment, access to nuclear substances and facilities and our in-house expertise in this area to safely enhance the high level of training and expertise that already exists within the HFD HAZMAT ranks. In particular, personnel are able to see how their instruments respond under real conditions and test the success of their contamination and exposure control practices. Conducting supervised training drills with real radiation fields and contamination helps to ensure that these personnel are ready to safely deploy their training in the real world, should they ever need it.