Emergency responders. Courtesy/NNSA
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Participants from 16 countries took part in a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) international radiation medical (I-MED) training course last week in Vienna, Austria. The training was hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Joseph J. Krol, Rear Admiral, United States Navy (Retired), is the Associate Administrator for NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operations. Courtesy/NNSA
“The course instructed medical responders on how to treat injured contaminated patients following a radiation incident,” said NNSA’s Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol. “The training in Vienna brought together specialists from various foreign governments to improve emergency preparedness and response programs. This course was also another example of how NNSA’s men and women are working around the world to implement President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.”
There were 21 participants from the following countries: Belarus, Chile, Egypt, Georgia, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Sudan, Thailand, Uruguay and Yemen. NNSA’s instructors were joined by lecturers from Japan, Brazil and France.
The course included hands-on demonstrations requiring trainees to effectively contain radioactive particles while preparing patients for transport to a hospital for medical care.
As radiation-based technology finds its way into ever-increasing areas of use, it is imperative that the medical community is able to appropriately respond to accidents involving ionizing radiation. The training also prepares the medical response community to effectively respond to radiological terrorism.
NNSA’s primary mission is to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without underground nuclear testing.
Because of this expertise, NNSA also provides nuclear emergency response support to local law enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and emergency responders in other countries.
NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operations currently collaborates with more than 80 foreign governments and 10 international organizations with projects ranging from providing assistance to foreign governments in improving their emergency preparedness and response programs, to joint collaborative activities to improve emergency management infrastructure worldwide.