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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

Camp Pendleton firefighters conduct annual HAZMAT training

By Lance Cpl. Lukas Kalinauskas | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | July 24, 2017

Camp Pendleton firefighters conducted hazardous materials training at the Paige Fieldhouse, July 19, 2017. Radiation portal monitors were assembled and tested as part of the firefighters’ annual HAZMAT training. This training ensures the readiness of Camp Pendleton’s response teams in emergency situations.

“Radiation portals are an essential tool in keeping the residents of Camp Pendleton safe,” said Rusty Duke, firefighter, Camp Pendleton Fire Department.

Radiation portals are the first line of defense in the case of an attack on the nearby San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. An attack on SONGS would allow radioactive materials to be released into the atmosphere. The portals would then screen citizens to determine if they have been exposed to harmful levels of radiation, aiding responders in their ability to properly assist them.

The portals are tested annually to access if they are functioning properly and to train firefighters to be able to properly use them should the need arise. This year’s training was done using 12 portals, five of which were found ready for retirement, and, alongside the fire department, was attended by Marine Corps Installation - West Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive specialists and Orange County Health.

“There’s no safe amount of radiation, even a small amount can do big harm so we always have to be ready for any situation,” said Mario Moreno, firefighter, Camp Pendleton Fire Department.