List of Pre-conference Sessions

PRECONFERENCE COURSES – Monday and/or Tuesday, September 11 & 12

Day: Monday and Tuesday (16 hour, 2-day class)

Hazardous Materials Tactical Command and Safety

Description: The course is designed for Hazardous Materials Technicians or Specialists assigned to a response team who may be called upon to staff the hazardous materials branch officer, hazardous materials safety officer, or group leader positions. This scenario-based course addresses the roles, responsibilities, and management of the hazardous materials branch officer and subordinate positions working within the scope of the model Incident Command System. This course focuses on incident analysis, tactical control operations, safety, resource management, tactical command, and ICS hazardous materials branch organization.

Class size: 24 students max

Instructor: James Graham, Adjunct Instructor – Virginia Department of Emergency Management


Day: Monday (8 hour, 1-day class)

Taking the Mystery out of Radiological Response

Description: This course will explore the considerations and equipment needed to effectively respond to radiological incidents. The course will focus on the roles and responsibilities of the hazardous materials responder and specifically the jurisdiction or incident radiological officer, field survey or hot zone team members, and contamination and control team members. This scenario-based training session with emphasize and apply the proper use of dosimetry, allow emergency responders the opportunity to use radiological detection and identification equipment, and demonstrate the proper process for requesting reach-back or technical support from other state and federal agencies.

Class size: 24 students max

Instructors: Todd Cannon and Robert Paxton, Regional Hazardous Material Officers – Virginia Department of Emergency Management


Day: Monday (8 hour, 1-day class)

The Ins and Outs of Establishing a Public Safety sUAS Program

Description: With the increased availability of capability of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), many public safety organizations are incorporating these small aircraft into their daily operations. However, the use of sUAS is not as simple as going to the store and buying one from the shelf to fly. This course will provide attendees with a first-hand look on how a local jurisdiction established their successful fire/rescue/law enforcement sUAS program. Topics of discussion include how to get organized, identifying program capabilities and partners, preparing information for FAA submittal, data retention policies, assembling resources, and implementing a safe and effective program. Upon completion, the attendees will have a better appreciation of the steps necessary to make their program a success.

Class size: 30 students max

Instructors: Chris Sadler, York County Fire and Life Safety


Day: Tuesday (8 hour, 1-day class)  - NOT AVAILABLE:  CLASS IS FULL!

Chemistry of the Hazard Classes  

Description: This 8-hour class explains the “why” of hazardous materials behavior by exploring the chemical makeup and interactions of groups of chemicals according to hazard class.  Principles of organic chemistry, neutralization, and polymerization will be presented and demonstrated according to the properties of the chemical hazard classes.  Class exercises will utilize “live” chemicals.  Persons with sensitivity to chemical odors should not attend. This class can be credited towards Hazardous Materials Technician refresher training.

Class size: 20 students max

Instructor: Christine Wagner – US Environmental Protection Agency


Day: Tuesday (8 hour, 1-day class)

Responding to Military Aircraft Incidents

Description: This course, presented by representatives of the US Navy – Naval Air Station Oceana, is designed to prepare the hazardous materials emergency responder for incidents involving military aircraft. The course will cover the hazards associated with responding to military aircraft loss-of-aircraft incidents and will include an overview of military aircraft response, the hazards associated with these incidents, ordnance familiarization, HERO (Hazardous Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance) issues, dangerous aircraft equipment (such as ejection seats), and the interaction of local responders with federal and military representatives. The course is will consist of lecture activities and culminate with a walk-around briefing/tour of various aircraft.

Special requirements - to attend this course, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a United States citizen;

  • Have successfully completed Hazardous Materials Technician-level training;

All applicants will be required to:

  • Wear work or uniform-type clothing and display conference name tag at all times. Shorts, tank tops, flip-flops or other open-toe shoes, or similar clothing is prohibited;

  • Have government-issued photo identification card on them at all times;

  • Leave all unauthorized items at the hotel;

  • Adhere to any safety or security policies or regulations of the host organization

Class size: 50 students maximum

Transportation and lunch will be provided.

Instructors: District Fire Chief Kenneth Snyder – Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Fire and Emergency Services