COLLEGE STATION – The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) has rolled out a new online course designed to help Spanish-speaking emergency responders recognize a hazardous material incident, protect themselves, notify others and secure the incident scene.
The new four-hour course is based on AWR-160-W, “WMD/Terrorism Awareness for Emergency Responders.” TEEX has offered the course in English since 2009 at no cost to qualified personnel through the DHS/FEMA’s National Training and Education Division as part of the Homeland Security National Training Program.
The Spanish course, AWR-160-W Conocimiento Sobre Armas de Destruccion Masiva/Terrorismo para Socorrista, is also available at no cost.
“Almost 15,000 students will take advantage of the English version of this course this year, and we expect that the number of students taking the Spanish version will also be significant as more groups become aware of its availability,” said Program Director Rick Comley. “The Spanish language version of this course will allow an underserved population access to critical awareness information so they are better informed about the dangers associated with hazardous materials.”
Focusing on prevention and deterrence, the course takes an all-hazards approach to Hazardous Material (HazMat) incidents, including acts of terrorism where Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) materials may have been used, Comley said. The course also meets awareness training requirements and competencies under the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 472 (2008 ed.), Chapter 4, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 28 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.120.
“Thousands of people take this course each year to meet a national requirement for HazMat awareness” said Rebecca Tate, Training Manager with TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center. “Offering this course in Spanish in a web-based format expands access to this vital information to the large number of Spanish-speaking responders across the U.S. and its territories.”