A Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant worker has developed a new practice system to better prepare team members to complete tasks in toxic areas.
“A new hose changing practice system will allow new or inexperienced toxic area entrants to practice hose changes in a controlled environment,” said Jason Remington, maintenance superintendent, PCAPP. “This will hopefully build Demilitarization Protective Ensemble entrant confidence, ensuring smoother and safer entries.”
Demilitarization Protective Ensemble entries are required when hands-on tasks must take place in potentially toxic areas. Each entry requires two workers, both supplied with clean air through a tethered breathing air hose. Sometimes, the hoses are not long enough to reach the targeted work area. When this happens, each entrant must swap their partner’s hose for a longer hose, located at one of several stationary breathing air stations where munitions go through processing.
“I’ve been in entries where my partner has had a hard time switching my hose out and I can see the frustration build and heart rates rise,” said Jeff Mecomber, instruments and control technician, PCAPP. “Being able to practice hose changes can make us more efficient.”
The system Mecomber developed gives entrants a belt equipped with a bag of practice hoses to be used during a simulated hose change process. Previously, entrants had to individually practice hose changes at one of the stationary change stations. The new system works in conjunction with another person, better simulating the actual process.