Radiation Awareness Training for University First Responder Personnel

P.F. Caracappa (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Training in radiation safety may be made available to a variety of personnel. Radiation workers who directly handle radioactive material or operate radiation producing equipment must have sufficient understanding of the properties of radiation, as well as orientation for their particular operation. Technical or non-technical staff that work in the vicinity of radiation operations may be offered awareness training to inform them about the radiation safety program, to understand and identify radiation signs and postings, and to know how to respond to an emergency. First responders in the university setting, such as University Police or Public Safety Personnel have unique needs that are not fulfilled by awareness training that may be sufficient for the general population. An orientation to potential accidents and incidents must be provided for such personnel, which would include enough information for them to deal with an incident without putting themselves or others at risk until radiation safety staff or other trained responders can arrive. The priority of medical emergencies over radiation concerns is stressed, as others will look to them for initial guidance. Guidance builds upon other hazardous material training that the staff is required to attend.

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