New simulation devices for the detection of radioactive substances

The local fire department at the NUVIA site in Dülmen (Germany) was faced with a special kind of disaster control exercise.

The local fire department at the NUVIA site in Dülmen (Germany) was faced with a special kind of disaster control exercise. The unannounced alarm training session combined two challenging scenarios in one exercise. After a traffic accident involving three vehicles, injured persons had to be rescued and the dangers posed by the radioactive cargo had to be assessed correctly.

Two new simulation devices for radioactive materials were used for this purpose. The DolMo SIM allows the emergency services to read real measured values on the dose and dose rate measuring device. During the exercise, the associated radio source was hidden in a destroyed hazardous materials package. All vehicles involved in the accident were in the danger area, which in Germany is above 25 µSv/h according to the German Firefighting Service Regulations 500. This posed a special challenge for the emergency services, as they now had to rescue the injured drivers from their vehicles while wearing self-contained breathing apparatuses. The emergency services used the CoMo SIM contamination detection device, which responds to magnets instead of radioactive contamination, for the subsequent check for radioactive contamination. Thus, it was possible to detect the magnets hidden among the injured and then to decontaminate them professionally. At the same time, another team took care of the hazardous material involved in the accident. The DolMo SIM helped to quickly identify the damaged package, which was removed immediately from the vicinity of the accident. Further dose intake for the rescuers and the female drivers could thus be stopped. A possible spread of contamination was accordingly classified as a lesser evil. Of course, some compromises have to be accepted even in such a realistic exercise, because neither the medical rescue service nor the district’s CBRN unit were available for the exercise. However, this did in no way affect the instructors’ positive overall impression of the rescue forces and the new simulation measuring devices.

Learn more about DolMo SIM

Learn more about CoMo SIM