Hazmat 2017 marks the biggest and best year in the event’s history. For the 10th year running, the National Chemical Emergency Centre’s (NCEC) hazmat event brought together a wide cross-section of professionals working in hazmat and chemical incident response to converge on the latest developments in industry.
“An essential forum to engage with colleagues of other services to acquire knowledge from the sharing of experiences.” William Maher, Dublin Fire Brigade.
Hosted by NCEC, in partnership with Tactical Hazmat, the event brings together a variety of experts to share knowledge and best practice of hazardous material response. Providing an open and welcoming environment for professionals to develop their training profiles, the conference is also a great way to attain continuing professional development (CPD) accreditations.
This year’s conference returned to the Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon on 24 & 25 May for a packed programme of interactive discussions, practical workshops and scenarios. The programme featured 15 different parallel sessions delivered by 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 conference was opened by NCEC Director, Jonathan Gibbard, followed by keynote talks from Dave Walton, CFOA Hazmat Lead at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, and Roman Sykora, CTIF Hazmat Group Lead at Vienna Fire Department. Citing recent events, Dave Walton, commended the calm and professional response of the emergency response teams who responded to the Manchester Arena bombing in May, and led delegates in a poignant 1-minute applause in honour of the victims.
Following the opening talks, the event kicked-off with 2 sets of parallel sessions. Delegates had the choice of attending concurrent sessions on a range of topics including interactive talks on laboratory hazards, a guidance toolkit on responding to hazardous incidents, an overview the hazards associated with liquefied natural gas and a talk on emergency response planning.
“Excellent variation of topics covered – something there for all. Friendly & welcoming with great networking opportunities.” Michael Pearson, Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service.
Following lunch, the afternoon featured another two rounds of parallel sessions on hazard categorisation and practical hazmat awareness, in addition to interactive scenarios on environmental protection and hazmat response. For the more adventurous, a practical workshop on foam provided an opportunity for delegates to literally ‘get stuck in’ to the subject matter.
The first day wrapped up with a conference dinner, providing an opportunity for delegates to socialise with peers and discuss the day’s proceedings.
Day 2 kicked off with 3 rounds of parallel sessions running throughout the morning. Topics covered carbon dioxide incidents caused by fire extinguishing systems, Emergency Pre-Incident Planning, LPG Fuel Vehicles, COMAH, Dangerous Goods Enforcement and a real-life case study on a rail car incident involving acrylonitrile.
The conference concluded with a facilitated discussion on the future of Hazmat response and what challenges lay ahead led by NCEC’s Dan Haggarty and a panel of guest speakers.
“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.
Organisers have already turned their attention to planning next year’s event – set to return to the Crowne Plaza in Stratford Upon Avon on 23-24 May 2018.
Attendee feedback following the event has been highly positive and with growing attendee numbers, year on year, Hazmat conference looks set to continue its dominance of the annual event calendar, cementing its position as THE premier event for hazmat professionals.
Hazmat 2017 would not have been possible without our partners, sponsors and exhibitors. Our national media partner is Fire Times and international media partners are MDM Publishing Ltd (Asia Pacific Fire, Gulf Fire and International Fire Fighter).
For more information, go to www.the-ncec.com/hazmat-event