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Masters of Science in Occupational Safety HAZMAT Weekend a Success!

THEY’RE BACK!! The Department of Occupational Safety and Health, in spite of near freezing temperatures, welcomed 25 students enrolled in the HAZMAT II graduate course during the weekend of November 23 & 24. Emergencies never pay attention to the weather so we followed suit. Students gathered on the SE campus for their weekend practical exercise session embracing the opportunity to suit up in the totally encapsulating suits, not only to experience responding to a mishap but to also stay warm.

The hands-on exercise is required for the completion of the HAZMAT II course (with HAZWOPER 40-hour card). The lab included scenarios in hazardous materials recognition, preparedness, mitigation, recovery, and rescue. Students were required to respond to five different emergency incidents involving chemical releases during the two day exercise. The response included an incident command structure with the commander, information officer, safety officer and response personnel. The exercise allows students to suit up with full chemical protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatuses and experience the difficulties caused by the equipment. The exercises have been repeatedly praised by students for helping them understand the problems associated with emergency response. The weekend exercise was led by Dr. Chris Bradshaw with assistance from Dr. Hal Poovey. A special Thank You goes out to the Durant Fire Department for filling our SCBA’s for this weekend training.