Nov. 29, 2010

Virginia CERFP demonstrates capabilities

Staff Reports     

SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) provided a demonstration and was a featured exhibitor at the annual conference hosted by the Virginia Association of Hazardous Materials Response Specialists October 18-22 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton.

 

The Virginia CERFP displays equipment at the 2010 Virginia Association of Hazardous Materials Response Specialists conference October 18-22 in Hampton. The display consists of search & extraction, decontamination and medical tools and a mobile command center. (Courtesy photo)

The Virginia CERFP supported the week-long training event with 10 personnel and established a large display featuring each of the team’s unique capabilities, including incident support/management, mass medical care, mass decontamination, search and extraction (also known as urban search and rescue), and fatality search and recovery.

While attending the conference, the Virginia CERFP participated in a variety of training topics to include unified command, weapons of mass destruction, home-made explosives, coordinating operations with multiple agencies, and safety.

 

The Virginia CERFP displays its mobile command center and decontamination center at the 2010 Virginia Association of Hazardous Materials Response Specialists conference October 18-22 in Hampton. (Courtesy photo)

“The training offered by the Hazardous Materials Association was some of the best I’ve ever attended, ” said Capt. Cheryl Stacklin. “However, the most important aspect of our attendance was the relationships that were forged with our civilian counterparts and the awareness they gained that week.” 

The conference was attended by several hundred local, state, and federal first responders.  Many were not aware of the Virginia CERFP’s unique capabilities to conduct emergency hazardous materials or rescue operations in a contaminated environment. 

The Virginia Association of Hazardous Materials Response Specialists is a professional organization of first responders throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia formed with the purpose of exchanging information between local and state agencies; interfacing with national organizations; and promoting resource sharing.  Ultimately, the organization has helped to standardize tactics and training for hazardous materials teams and technicians in order to better serve the citizens and visitors of the Commonwealth.

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