UTPA to host Radiological Emergency Responder Training
Posted: 04/18/2005
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The University of Texas-Pan American, in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services Community Preparedness Program, will host a Radiological Emergency Preparedness class on Thursday, May 5 at the UTPA Department of Environmental Health and Safety training room from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The eight-hour performance-based (hands-on) course is designed for personnel selected as radiological monitors. Topics include a review of radiation fundamentals, radiation detection instruments, monitoring techniques, radiological protective actions, radiation hazards, and first responder actions.

This training helps prepare emergency response personnel to safely respond to an event involving radioactive materials said Richard Costello, director of Environmental Health and Safety, whose department will be hosting the class.

"UTPA wants to be prepared, not only if an event were to occur on campus, but anywhere in the Rio Grande Valley," Costello said.

The class will help prepare trained emergency response personnel perform routine monitoring of employees, equipment, and facilities and ensure the protection of the community, he said.

"Additionally, because some of UTPA's researchers use radioactive materials for a variety of studies, it (the class) will provide our staff with basic radiological emergency response training in the event of an incident involving radioactive materials were to occur on campus, such as a spill," he said.

In the future the University will host a 32-hour Advanced Radiological Emergency Preparedness seminar and also a class titled Hospital Emergency Response to Radiation Injuries to Contaminated Patients, which introduces hospital staff to procedures for receiving contaminated patients, minimizing patient and personal exposure and decontamination methods.

The class is free and open to anyone interested. To sign up for the class, call Celia Saenz at 956/381-3690.