The Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) commenced a training exercise last week aimed at handling environments affected by chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats (CBRNE).
The course, entitled “Hazardous Materials Evidence Collection for CBRNE Incidents (HEC),” taught CDP first responders to thoroughly identify, document and collect evidence in a hazardous environment.
“If it’s a CBRNE incident, the FBI is going to investigate,” David Blaker, an HEC instructor at the CDP, said. “But most likely, the first responders on that scene will be local, not federal. The decisions they make and the actions they take are vital when it comes to evidence. And even when the FBI arrives, they will likely rely on some of those same responders for support during the investigation.”
The two day course was developed in collaboration with the FBI and heavily utilized the bureau’s 12-step investigative process to help standardize the responses activities among local, state and federal agencies.
In the HEC classroom, students learned the protocols of identifying and collecting evidence in a CBRNE environment, where hazards can range from toxic white powders to radioactive substances or biological agents. Information learned can then be applied to hands-on scenarios while using protective equipment, which adds to the realism of the exercises.