By 2LT (MDDF) Anthony Granado
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
01 December 2014
The potential emergency may arise from a natural disaster or an international terrorism incident but the men and women of the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) are preparing to meet the challenge. MDDF personnel recently completed an important three-day hazardous material (HAZMAT) training at Camp Fretterd Military Reservation. The training was designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed to obtain certification through the National Professional Qualifications System (NPQS/Pro Board) as an operations-level responder. The course was designed by the Texas A&M University Engineering department.
This three-day course focused on the specific challenges that first responders face during a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)/terrorist or a Hazardous Materials (HazMat) incident. The training was designed to help personnel recognize hazardous materials and prevent the unnecessary contamination of people, property, and the environment. “It is important for MDDF to get this type of training as these threats sadly aren’t going to go anyway time soon. But MDDF will be ready,” said Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm, who also participated in the training.
Some of the topics addressed in the training included:
• Assessing WMD hazards
• Predicting the likely behavior of HAZMAT/WMD materials
• Identifying defensive strategies for a WMD incident
• Effectively operating and communicating in a unified command structure of the Incident Command System (ICS)
• Determining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs, and;
• Performing emergency decontamination
Twenty-five MDDF personnel participated in this training activity. For Lt. Col. (MDDF) Edward Hubner the experience was not only educational but enjoyable. “I had a great time and learned a lot. I hope to never have to use these skills but we always need to be ready if necessary.”
The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: www.mddf.maryland.gov.