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Twelve hazardous materials response teams from New Mexico, Missouri and Oklahoma will test their skills at the 17th annual Hazmat Challenge July 30 through Aug. 2 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
“The challenge provides hazardous materials responders the opportunity to test their skills, network with other response agencies, and learn new techniques through realistic hazardous materials release scenarios in a safe, non-hazardous environment,” said Chris Rittner of the Laboratory’s Emergency Operations Division.
Held at Los Alamos’ Technical Area 49, the event requires participants to respond to simulated hazardous materials emergencies involving a rail car, a clandestine laboratory, various modes of transportation, industrial piping scenarios, a simulated radiological release and a confined space event.
The finale of the Hazmat Challenge is a skills-based obstacle course; teams are graded and earn points based on their ability to perform response skills through a 10-station obstacle course while using fully encapsulating personal protective equipment.
The Laboratory began the Hazmat Challenge in 1996 as a way to hone the skills of its own hazmat team members.