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Lanier Technical College holds Ammonia Awareness Hazmat Training
with “live release”
Lanier Technical College and Hall County Fire Services conducted an Ammonia Awareness Hazmat Training and first responder exercise on the Oakwood
The training consisted of in-depth lectures by Instructors Jordan Reece and Greg Bryant followed with a small ammonia release inside of Lanier Technical College’s Ammonia Refrigeration Training Facility. Lanier Tech’s Ammonia training facility is one of only six live systems in the US.
Once the ammonia release was initiated and “reported” by Lanier Tech Ammonia Refrigeration Instructor, Greg Bryant, first responders “suited-up” in Hazmat suits, assessed the ammonia leak, and resolved the situation. The training exercise concluded with discussions designed to "debrief and improve".
Senior Ammonia Refrigeration Instructor, Jordan Reece, said, "The training is to help first responders understand the effects of ammonia on the human body, how to deal with ammonia, to understand that ammonia is a safe refrigerant, but there are also concerns that come with ammonia refrigeration."
The purpose of the exercise was to better train first responders since Lanier Tech’s service area contains many food processing facilities.
As Bryant remarked, “We want the first responders to know what they’re dealing with in case of a catastrophic failure in a local plant.“
“I want them to have a respect for ammonia, not to fear ammonia, and to know what they’re dealing with, and to be more informed.” Tim McDonald, Executive Vice President of Lanier Technical College, echoed Bryant’s comments, and added, “Today’s training also helps Lanier Tech’s staff and the results will be quickly incorporated into Lanier Tech’s daily ammonia training.”
One of the unique facets of the training involved the use of live-streaming video of the “action” into two classrooms for first responders to see what was actually taking place, in real-time, inside the facility. Within a few hours, the video stream had over 1,400 views and had reached 3,800 people, thus sharing the exercise with more first responders throughout the US. Senior Ammonia Instructor, Jordan Reece, provided continuous commentary in real time to the video stream about the exercise and actions so that all video viewers could understand what was occurring on-site.
Emergency personnel from six jurisdictions
participated in the event: City of Gainesville, Hall County, Dawson
County, Forsyth County, Athens Clarke County, and White County.
The participating agencies all commended Lanier Tech for hosting the
mock safety drill and information session. The drill will be repeated
Anhydrous Ammonia is commonly used as an industrial refrigerant in the
food processing industries due it’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Anhydrous Ammonia is not explosive, as is Ammonia Nitrate that caused
the mass devastation in 2013 in West, Texas.
Lanier Technical College offers over 40 programs of study in some of the nation's fastest-growing career fields including healthcare, energy, business and industry, and public or private service. More information about Lanier Technical College may be obtained by calling 770.533.7000 or by visiting www.laniertech.edu. Lanier Technical College is a Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.