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Course Description

PER-240 - WMD Radiological/Nuclear Responder Operations

Course Description last updated 12/01/2016

This instructor-led, exercise-based mobile training team delivered course trains emergency personnel to respond to radiological weapon of mass destruction incidents while mitigating the health risks to themselves and the public. The course combines individual performance skills required for the response to a radiological WMD incident, with the fundamentals of radiation, radiological health effects, and terrorist use of radiation and radiological material. Participants learn characteristics and operation of radiological instrumentation and dosimeters, radiological survey techniques, and operational considerations for the response to a radiological WMD incident.


The gained knowledge and skills are reinforced with detailed drills and exercises using radioactive material. The course advances from basic operation and techniques to tactical employment in realistic scenarios. The course concludes with a comprehensive final evaluation exercise that encompasses all the learned individual knowledge and skills required to respond to a WMD incident involving radioactive material.


Course Objectives:

  • Describe the terminology and units used for radiation measurement.
  • Explain how to operate an analog radiological instrument to determine the presence and quantity of radiation.
  • Use meter equipment to determine the dose rate and explain why it is necessary to get a dose rate reading.
  • Use survey techniques to determine radiological hazards and to make tactical decisions.
  • Recognize possible radiological/nuclear threats that could occur within the U.S., and identify who may obtain radiological/nuclear material, where they may obtain such material, and the impact and consequences of such an action.
  • Read an analog radiological instrument dial and interpret the radiation in the correct units.
  • Demonstrate the basic operation of a digital survey meter according to the instructions given.
  • Demonstrate the proper use of dosimeters.
  • Recognize and identify the biological effects of exposure to ionizing radiation accompanying radiological/nuclear incidents and how to properly identify, triage, and psychologically support contaminated patients.
  • Describe how to conduct a radiological decontamination for responders and the public.
  • Identify the procedure for selecting, donning, and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) for a radiological/nuclear environment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of radiological threats and tactical considerations required to operate safely and effectively at a radiological incident.

Prerequisites & Other Information:
Eligibility: It is the responsibility of the jurisdiction to select course participants.

Certificate: Certificates are issued to attendees upon successful completion of the course.

Cost: All training and course materials are provided at no cost to eligible participants. Funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency/National Preparedness Directorate (FEMA/NPD) U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Location: Participant Site.

Compliance: This course enhances the competencies defined in National Fire Protection Association NFPA 472, “Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/WMD Incidents,” for responding to specific radiological/nuclear WMD incidents, and augments the responder’s knowledge and skills to perform those duties and functions.

Enrollment Information: In order to attend a training class delivered by one of the FEMA/NPD training partners, a request must be submitted to the designated U.S. Department of Homeland Security training point of contact. For a Training Coordinator in your area, please call 877.963.2867 or email

No tuition is charged.
All training and course materials are provided at
no cost to eligible participants. Funding provided
by the Federal Emergency Management Agency/
National Preparedness Directorate U.S. Department
of Homeland Security.

Course Specifics

Hours: 24.00
Provider: Counterterrorism Operations Support (CTOS)
Disciplines: Emergency Medical Service
Fire Service
Government Administration
Health Care
Law Enforcement
Public Health
Public Safety Communications
Emergency Management
Public Works

Available Classes

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