MetaMedia will use the internet to deliver high quality, job-related pertinent hazardous materials and safety training to a large national responder audience at a low cost. Online training alleviates many problems faced by public safety professionals'training, allowing students to train on their schedule while on duty or at home, and with the ability to start and stop in the event of an emergency incident. MetaMedia and HazMatIQ have partnered to develop a library of HazMat courseware and related resources which will be available to responders 24x7 in a variety of modes. The first eLearning product developed with NIEHS SBIR funding is HazMatIQ's patented Above the Line/Four Step System. HazMatIQ has trained over 15,000 responders in classroom settings throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada and South America. The four-hour eLearning curriculum is in final stages of testing and integration into a Learning Management System (LMS) before release to the emergency response community. Also funded by NIEHS and presently in development is HazMatIQ GURU, an innovative m-Learning (mobile) approach to providing critical hazard response information on-scene on a handheld device. Continuing our mission to protect workers and the public from exposure, injury and death as a result of a chemical hazard or WMD, MetaMedia and HazMatIQ propose to develop a series of interactive training webinars, each one to two hours in length, which will complement the 'Above the Line'training. The webinar series-HazMatIQ LIVE!-will cover the most critical information and knowledge required for responders to perform the time-dependent, incident risk-response decision process, including chemical and physical properties that influence the decision process, most important monitoring equipment, and most important properties of WMDs (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive) that influence the selection of monitoring equipment for the response. An interactive design that simulates a real-world emergency response will enable participants to engage with each other in a """"""""live"""""""" field drill. The strategic aims of this project are to fill gaps in critical HazMat response training that lead to more effective response to HazMat incidents, gain field experience through realistic virtual exercises, enable responders to have access to critical training 24x7, and provide an alternative that reduces the cost of training for Fire Departments. Our long range goal is to reduce injuries, death, and the cost of HazMat response incidents through timely and successful risk mitigation at a time when training budgets are being slashed and vacant positions due to attrition are being unfilled in communities across the U.S. The application is rated at a priority score level of 48.
Firefighters, hazmat responders, police officers, the military, and industry must be prepared to safely and efficiently respond to emergencies that may involve dangerous chemicals, explosives, radiation, and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Training large groups of emergency responders has become exceedingly difficult due to budgetary constraints and reduction in personnel. Quality, job-relevant online training for hazardous materials, including WMD, will lead to an educated and highly prepared response community, which will better protect the public and emergency responders from the effects of chemical exposure. Time is of the essence when dealing with chemical hazards. An adequately trained responder greatly reduces the potential deadly and injurious effects of these hazards. Effective mitigation of Hazardous Materials/ WMD incidents will save lives and cost to the first responder community and the public.