Grissom Airmen undergo Hazardous Materials training

  • Published
  • By A1C Harrison Withrow
  • 434th ARW
Grissom Airmen from the 434th Civil Engineering Squadron recently underwent a hazardous material training exercise.
Hazardous materials are a fact of life on any Air Force base, but with proper care and safety measures, the risk they pose can be greatly mitigated. For CE, it’s important to have a plan in place for when things go wrong, and practice that plan often.
“One aspect of an emergency manager’s job is to respond to disasters, both natural and man-made, to mitigate destruction of our property and protect lives,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jon Raschke, 434th CES emergency manager.
Though the materials used in training were not actually hazardous, the exercise itself was very realistic, said Raschke.
“We were simulating a leak in a 150lb chlorine cylinder,” he said. “We pressurized the container with running water so that there would be a constant flow until the leak was capped and secured.”
The response team’s goal was to get to the location of the incident, get into the proper protective gear, and contain the leak, said Raschke.
“The team did a great job of working together in an environment that heavily relies on knowing what your partner is going to do, and using a lot of hand-signals to get your point across,” he said. “I deliberately chose my most junior Airman to lead the response team, not only to gain experience controlling a leak, but also taking control of the scene.”
That Airman, Senior Airman Eva Chupp, 434th CES emergency management apprentice, performed very well, said Raschke.
“As hazmat technicians, these Airmen must be prepared and ready to respond to all scenarios, whether on base or in a deployed location,” said Raschke.
The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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