Oak Ridge facility trains officers in dealing with hazardous materials

Law enforcement personnel from around the world now have access to a state-of-the-art facility in which to train for various situations that could involve radiological material: Tennessee’s Emergency Response Training Facility (ERTF) on the west end of Oak Ridge.

Local, state and national officials gathered at the ERTF on Monday morning to celebrate its grand opening

A view inside the Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center during a grand opening event for the Emergency Response Training Facility that is part of the center on Monday.  The ERTF is a state-of-the-art location where first responders can train for various situations that could involve radiological materials.  (Photo: Brianna Paciorka/For The Oak Ridger)

At ERTF, first responders can learn from Y-12 National Security Complex trainers who are experts in radioactive sources, according to a news release from Y-12 and the company that manages and operates it, Consolidated Nuclear Security. As outlined in the release, hospitals, universities and laboratories often have radiological material that could be used for nefarious purposes if stolen, and local law enforcement agencies might not be prepared to respond to such crimes or to connecting emergencies.

The $15 million, 40,000-square-foot ERTF was funded by the state and developed by Roane County, led by the Roane Alliance, the county’s economic development organization. ERTF has offices for teaching staff, augmented and virtual reality rooms and traditional classrooms to provide immersive first-responder training.

Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center

An augmented reality training room is demonstrated during a grand opening event for the Emergency Response Training Facility that is part of the Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center.  (Photo: Brianna Paciorka/For The Oak Ridger)

“ERTF is the first facility to begin operations at the Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center (ORETTC), 3607 Oak Ridge Turnpike, the new nuclear security and training campus funded with federal and state dollars. The second facility will be the federally funded Simulated Nuclear and Radiological Activities Facility (SNRAF). When complete, SNRAF will serve as a technology demonstration space and train those responsible for safeguarding nuclear and radioactive material in the latest nuclear security, detection and nonproliferation technologies,” the release stated.

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