Transitioning soldiers to receive Hazardous Waste Worker training at no cost

Story and photo by Brandon Steinert

Barton Community College will offer transitioning Fort Riley Soldiers a grant-funded two-week certificate program at no cost to participants. The Hazardous Waste Worker program gives Soldiers credentials to help them find work after their tenure in the US Army ends.

The next course is set from September 19-30 at 100 Continental Ave., Grandview Plaza, Kan. Classes are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday, covering Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazardous Materials Handling, OSHA 10-hour General Industry Safety and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), culminating in a hands-on hazardous waste handling simulation for the final exam. The program will be offered at Fort Riley a second time in early December.

Students must be physically and mentally able to work in a full level-A Hazardous Materials ensemble, including self-contained breathing apparatus.

“That was awesome,” said program graduate Sgt. Robert Burgess after donning a hazardous materials suit during the final simulation. “It’s great to actually get out there and do it. I learned a lot here, and I feel like I’ve learned something useful.”

The training is paid for by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The course is geared toward transitioning soldiers, retirees and family members at no cost.

“This course is only 10 days and it is a great opportunity for transitioning soldiers because they can get this training at no-cost and immediately have qualifications that employers in the HAZMAT field are looking for,” said Barton’s Dean of Fort Riley Technical Education and Military Outreach Training Bill Nash. “They can get back to their lives and get to work right away so they can provide for their families.”

For more information, contact James Henderson at (785) 238-8550 or

‘Train the Trainer’ program

Also offered to transitioning soldiers, retirees and their immediate family members at no cost is Barton’s Train-the-Trainer course for the Department of Transportation, which certifies individuals to train others on shipping hazardous materials. The training consists of 16 hours of Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49 Update and 24 hours of Design & Delivering Effective Training.

The training will be offered from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. each weekday from Sept. 26 through Oct. 18 at 100 Continental Ave., Grandview Plaza, Kan. For more information contact Terri Mebane at (785) 240-5379.

Two hazardous waste worker students inspect barrels during a simulation.