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April 24, 2024
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Radiation Task Force Leader (RTFL)
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI), Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORIA)

This 10-day radiation safety course is designed for U.S. EPA Response Support Corps (RSC) personnel who will augment the existing Emergency Response Program personnel in a response to a major radiological contamination incident. RTFLs will be assigned roles within the Incident Command System (ICS) organization. These individuals will perform a variety of activities including: radiological surveying/monitoring and environmental sampling to determine the extent of radioactive contamination; field data collection and management; collection and processing of environmental samples (e.g., air, water, smear, surface soil, vegetation); and decontamination line personnel surveying and decontamination verification. Students should have a strong science related background and/or experience working with or around radioactive materials or other sources of ionizing radiation. Nominees for this training cannot be OSCs, members of special teams, other Agency radiation experts, or anyone who already has a role in responding to a nationally significant radiation-related incident. Registrations will only be accepted from EPA staff with supervisory approval indicating support for required annual refresher training.

This course is designed to:

  • Prepare participants to perform the administrative and leadership functions of an RTFL within an ICS.
  • Describe and operate radiation surveying and monitoring equipment.
  • Collect and manage radiation survey/monitoring field data.
  • Describe and operate environmental sample collection equipment.
  • Collect, package, prepare for shipment and manage environmental samples.
  • Review the fundamentals of radioactive decay and interaction of radiation(s) with matter.
  • Describe EPA’s radiation Health and Safety operations and turn-back levels.

This course is intended for:

  • Regional and HQ RSC volunteers who:
    1. Have technical or scientific degrees.
    2. Are nominated and will be supported by their Region or HQ organization for this initial (10 day) and the annual (3 day) mandatory refresher training required in order to maintain RTFL qualification/readiness. All travel expenses (e.g., airfare, per diem, rental car, etc.) except for hotel costs for the initial and annual refresher training will be paid for by the supporting Region or HQ organization.
    3. Are personally willing and able to be deployed in a radiological emergency for one or more deployments. Note: Each deployment may last as long as 3 weeks.

Topics that are discussed include:

  • Radiation Fundamentals
  • Radiation Health and Safety, and U.S. EPA Radiation Dose Limits
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Radiation Survey Basics, Instrumentation, and Response Procedures
  • Personnel Dosimeters
  • Rapid Assessment Tools (R.A.T.)
  • Environmental Monitoring and Sampling Collection and Data Management
  • Preliminary Site Assessment

Instructional methods include: lectures, class discussions, demonstrations, and scenario based hands-on exercises. The exercises provide for mentored practice and application of the knowledge, skills and abilities presented in the lectures, discussions and demonstrations.

After completing the course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss basic radiological terminology and fundamentals of radioactive decay and the interaction of radiation with matter.
  • State U.S. EPA radiation dose limits and implement field methods to control exposures.
  • Perform QA/QC functional instrument checks.
  • Perform radiological surveys to detect and define the presence of radioactive contamination.
  • Perform environmental sampling for radioactivity.
  • Set up and operate a personnel decontamination line.
  • Obtain, record, and document all types of field radiation monitoring and sampling data.

Course is Approximately 80 Contact Hours.


Prior to being accepted for the course, participants will need to complete most, if not all of the following pre-requisites:

  1. If not already enrolled as a member of the region’s or office’s Response Support Corps (RSC), the participant must do so.
  2. Enroll in the region's or office's respiratory protection and medical surveillance programs and obtain medical clearance for field operations and for wearing a respirator;
  3. Complete the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) online Incident Command System (ICS) 100 and 200 level courses offered at: , and, respectively.
  4. Complete the 40 hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training or are current by having completed annual 8 hour refresher training within the last year.
  5. Contact the region or office’s Safety Health and Environmental Manager (SHEM) to be assigned (or loaned) and fit tested for a respirator (once medically cleared).
  6. Contact the region or office’s Safety Health and Environmental Manager (SHEM) to enroll to receive a Thermoluminescent Dosimeter (TLD) when deployed on responses.

NOTE: The course training materials and duration may be modified at the discretion of the U.S. EPA Work Assignment Manager. Course dates, locations, and agendas may vary. Course registration and participation is limited to U.S. EPA Response Support Corps personnel. If respiratory protection is used during the course, each participant is required to have completed a medical evaluation in accordance with the Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134.

For general information contact Scott Hudson by telephone at 202-564-4519, cell: 513-967-3315, or email at

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