For more than 50 years, Industrial Rescue Instruction Systems has been training fire academy, university and private sector students in hazmat and technical rescue.
Since 1967 IRIS has trained many students around the world at both universities and companies covering all areas of emergency response. In 2002, the Rescue and Tactical Training Center was completed. This 55-acre facility includes classrooms for lecture and discussion. However, the training focuses primarily on hands-on techniques and field scenarios.
The initial stage of their industrial field, which includes a to-scale process unit with multiple towers, pipe racks, switch back stairs and barrel ladders was completed in 2000; the tank farm and truck loading facility was completed in 2002. In July 2018, IRIS expanded to include the Beaumont Fire Training grounds.
Hazmat courses can be taught at the IRIS training center or at a client’s site. The courses follow a natural progression through the steps from the hazmat awareness level to the operations level to technician level. The courses can be modified to address specific needs and meet or exceed all 29CFR1910.120 and NFPA 472 requirements.
And to be sure they are not lumped into the “those who can’t do, teach” category, IRIS created a standby rescue response team it calls Team IRIS Rescue. The team has responded to confined space and structural rescues as well as multiple industrial fires along the Gulf coast.
Team IRIS technicians are all full-time responders who come from backgrounds in firefighting, rescue, hazmat and medical fields with extensive in-plant experience. For many years, IRIS has worked with companies during new construction, shutdowns and turnarounds. They have provided advanced rescue teams to some of the largest facilities in the country and to some of the smallest gas plants. The team provides everything from pre-incident plans to full safety professionals on site.
Over the past two years they have overcome Covid-19, multiple hurricanes, and a freeze. Yet, they are still striving to make themselves and others better at what they do. In the end, the company says, it is the strength of its team members that has made success possible through the adversities.