TSTC Environmental Technology Program Gets New Decontamination Trailers

(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Environmental Technology program has purchased two mobile decontamination trailers for students to use in labs at the Fort Bend County and Waco campuses.

The trailers will be used in the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Training and Related Topics class offered in the fifth semester of the Associate of Applied Science degree in Environmental Technology – Compliance program.

Yvette Vaughan, a program instructor at the Fort Bend County campus, used one of the trailers  at the end of the spring semester. She said her students were excited about the trailer, which led to a discussion about hazardous materials-related jobs in the Houston area.

“The trailer provided an additional three stages of decontamination, which demonstrated a closer replica of a real-life scenario, along with the donated decontamination portable shower received during spring break,” Vaughan said. “The trailer sparked interest in the field. For me as an instructor, I couldn’t have asked for more.”

The trailers, which are constructed of fiberglass and steel, have shower heads and hand wands, external drains, lighting, water hookups and 150-gallon quick-catch pools. 

The trailers improve how instructors teach the class, which is based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. Students who complete the class receive an OSHA certification.

Lester Bowers, TSTC’s statewide chair for Environmental Technology in Waco, said a lot of environmental health and safety jobs require the HAZWOPER certification. He said students who receive the certification have an advantage over others.

“The initial certification is good for one year, then they have to take a modified refresher training course for eight hours once a year to validate the certificate,” Bowers said. “We like to give them that completion when they are graduating so they are current.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.