Methods of training for CBRN response until recently depended heavily upon such unsophisticated methods as responding to hand-written signs that quoted the level of 'radiation' present at a given location. This method had its merits but was also deeply flawed, as it did not allow trainees to develop an effective understanding of how detection instruments should be used and display readings interpreted.
Other methods posed further problems: for example, responder trainees have taken part in exercises while carrying real detection instruments, using them 'live' to search for small quantities of simulants. Clearly, this method poses a degree of personal risk to trainees, since even small quantities of simulants can pose a real health hazard. Using real detectors in training is also a risk to the organisation that is conducting the training as it temporarily takes equipment out of service. What's more, this method poses the additional risk of equipment being damaged and decommissioned while it is repaired and recalibrated, or worse still, replaced.
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