Tech Talk: “Training Prop”

We at Hazmat Nation wanted to share a platform for tips and tricks for “Hazmatters”, like you who are doing the deeds daily. A pay it forward of sorts to keep those little things that make a big difference. So welcome to our new series “Tech Talk”

This Tech Talk comes from Nick Bonstell from Grand Rapids, Michigan. 


Nick shared with us their station made cylinder training prop.


Who: Nick Bonstell

What: Cylinder Training Prop

Where: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Organization: Tri-Com Hazardous Materials Response Team

Contact: [email protected]

We wanted to know:  How did you come up with this idea?

What they say: “We just wanted our own training device and wanted to simulate the real world experience”  “This makes for a more realistic and fun training experience with the adrenaline pumping”

We wanted to know: “How did you build the prop”

What they said: “We had a Nitrogen Tank (225CF) lying around the house. We decided to take it apart and see if we could make a somewhat realistic training device from it. We removed the valve assembly and the bottom of the valve is NPT. We threaded in a male NPT to an air line quick connect and ran the hose though the center of the cylinder. We used a cut off wheel to cut a square opening in the bottom to run the hose out. We placed a ¼ turn ball valve inline with the hose that went to the compressor. We removed the burst disk from the valve assembly and opened the valve. This way, no matter what the techs do with the valve it will still have (air) flow coming from the disk area. You can use whatever placard or labeling on the cylinder and control the leak from the ball valve”.


Our philosophy is “the more you sweat in training the less you bleed in battle”. So here’s to training and thanks for the Tech Talk !

About the Author

Nick Bonstell is currently the Training Coordinator for the Tri-Com Hazardous Materials Response Team in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Nick is also a contract HAZMAT instructor for the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.  Nicks past experience includes being a Hazardous Materials Technician on the State of Michigan Regional Response Team and the Lieutenant of Hazardous Materials Planning for the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Nick can be reached at [email protected].

Send your HAZMATTERS or Tech Talk idea to [email protected] 

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