EICC announces exciting new partnership at its new HAZMAT training location



Students putting on HAZMAT suitsEastern Iowa Community Colleges is excited to announce our new HAZMAT training grounds and classrooms will now host the Great Environmental Safety Trainers’ (GreatEST) Institute. The college’s hazardous materials training grounds and classrooms were recently moved to the Scott Community College campus. The community is invited to check out the new facilities and learn more about this new partnership during an event Tuesday, October 1 beginning at 10 a.m. at Scott Community College’s Career and Technical Education Building, 500 Belmont Rd., Bettendorf. In addition to hosting the Great Environmental Safety Trainers’ (GreatEST) Institute, the SCC facilities serve OSHA, EPA, and DOT training requirements of Iowa and Illinois businesses.

The GreatEST is a two-week instructor development program for community colleges and their partner trainers located across the nation. It is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, through a grant to the Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (PETE) which manages the Community College Consortium for Health and Safety Training (CCCHST).

The GreatEST curriculum covers HazWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) and Confined Space Awareness instruction. The facilities share space in SCC’s Career and Technical Education Building. A large 900 square foot classroom can easily seat 20 instructors in small groups at tables, leaving an equal amount of space at the back of the room for hands-on indoor work in personal protective equipment (PPE).

An expansive 150,000 square foot outdoor lab encompasses a simulated waste site and monitoring stations where instructors practice working in Levels A and B protective equipment. An equipment building next to the outdoor lab is shared with the Scott Auto Collision Program. It provides another 2,400 square foot of equipment storage space and plenty of room for instructor tables where they meet to work on projects related to their outdoor activities and to rest from the fatigue of working in hot suits and heavy SCBAs.

Equipment includes a porta-count used for qualitative and quantitative fit-testing and a cascade air system for filling SCBA bottles, Levels A & B PPE for 20 instructors including Tyvek, boots to fit all sizes, radios, monitors and hard hats. A confined space trailer, a former shipping container, is located next to the equipment building.

John Morgan leads the Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI) at EICC. He has been with the college 17 years and does 11,000 contact hours of training annually. Ron Snyder and Don Ransford are PETE Master Trainers who have worked with Morgan to design the GreatEST.

Contact National PETE @ nationalPETE.org if you are interested in attending the GreatEST Institute. The GreatEST is held the first two weeks of June and admits 18 instructors each year.

For more information about Eastern Iowa Community Colleges Environmental Health and Safety Training, visit eicc.edu/ehs