Hazmat 2017: A decade at the forefront of hazmat response best practice and innovation

Hazmat 2017: A decade at the forefront of hazmat response best practice and innovation
01 June 2017

2017’s Hazmat event proved once again that it is THE premier event of the year for hazmat professionals. Attracting the most delegates in the event’s 10-year history, the annual conference brought together professionals from a broad spectrum of fire services, police and industry to discuss, network and share experiences of working on the front line of hazardous material response.

It is a 'must' for Hazmat Officers (CPD)” John Sheehan, Interagency Office South West Ireland.

Organised by the National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC) and Tactical Hazmat, this year’s conference returned to the Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon on 24 & 25 May. The event featured a total of 15 different parallel sessions consisting of a mixture of interactive discussions, practical workshops and training scenarios, hosted by expert speakers from across the emergency response industry.

The conference was opened by event Chairman and NCEC Practice Director, Jonathan Gibbard, and featured keynote talks from Dave Walton, CFOA Hazmat Lead at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, and Roman Sykora, CTIF Hazmat Group Lead at Vienna Fire Department. Touching on recent events, Dave Walton, commended the calm and professional response of the emergency response teams who responded to the tragic events in Manchester which took place just days before the event, and led delegates in a poignant one-minute applause tribute for the victims.

The two-day programme featured talks from 18 expert speakers from a range of sectors and organisations, including the UKLNG, the Environment Agency, the National Operational Guidance Programme, Tactical Hazmat and BASF. The most popular sessions included talks on Hazard Categorisation, Laboratory Hazards – looking specifically at incidents in universities; Dangerous Goods Enforcement; becoming Hazmat ‘street smart’, which tested delegates practical knowledge of handling hazardous chemical scenarios; and a case study examination of a real-life rail car incident involving acrylonitrile.  

Michael Pearson, Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service commented, “Excellent variation of topics covered - something there for all. Friendly & welcoming with great networking opportunities.”

The event culminated in a facilitated discussion led by NCEC’s Dan Haggarty and a panel of speakers on the future of Hazmat response and what challenges lay ahead. Feedback following the conference has been highly positive with attendees praising the quality of the speakers and talks given.

“The vast experience amongst the presenters. The talks were very well put together, and aimed at the right level.” Colin Winterbottom, Derbyshire, Fire & Rescue Service.

Planning for 2018’s conference on 23-24 May at Crowne Plaza, Stratford Upon Avon, is already underway. Registration is set to open in late summer 2017. To find out more about the Hazmat event and stay up-to-date with upcoming details, visit http://the-ncec.com/hazmat-event  or contact maria.stearn@ricardo.com.