First Responders get Hazardous Training at Sam Houston State University

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas - First responders converged on Sam Houston State University to get up close and personal with hazardous materials.

Sam Houston State University and the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute held a training session Wednesday for local and state first responders. Federal officers with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency trained the officers in the nitty-gritty of hazardous substances.

"It does raise awareness, so they can go back to their agencies and be better prepared," said Andrea Hoke with Sam Houston State University.

The program consists of classroom and hands-on training. It's designed not only to keep officers safe, but to teach them about environmental crimes and enforcement as well. Something Hoke said isn't often addressed in law enforcement.

"Environmental crime is not something you see a lot of on TV. No CSI or NCIS shows are based on environmental crime," said Hoke.

Hoke said the training gives officers a new way to stay safe and to save lives.

"Particularly those law enforcement officers where the majority of their training is based on the guns, the knives and drugs," said Hoke.

Hoke said she hopes the three-day training session will become sort of a pilot program they can eventually take nationwide.