January 24, 2019
We're excited to be back in the classroom!
Last week, our inaugural group of the 2019 training season came from a nearby faction linked to a national poultry producer.
Our first visitors of the year – many of whom had been through some form of training at IRTC before – were taking the HAZWOPER Technician Class. It’s an annual certification that trains and/or refreshes members on how to safely respond to a hazardous chemical leak.
“The class serves a critically important function: understanding the hazards that are around you every day that are easy to get complacent with,” said Zach, an IRTC instructor.
Information is only half the battle. Perhaps the most important part of participating in an IRTC class is getting reps in crisis management – regardless of how smoothly everything goes.
“This is supposed to be a little awkward,” Zach said. “Part of the purpose of this class is to reinforce the idea that regular training at your own facility, and with your own equipment, is really important.”
Beyond designing and executing classes that meet RETA standards, Zach has the autonomy to conceive more advanced challenges for groups who are already familiar with the basics of any particular class. Because our local friends had been here before, Zach engineered a new, more irregular scenario to test these IRTC vets.
“There are different ways you can challenge a group. You can give them something that's more physically demanding, or you can give them something that's an unusual sort of release," Zach said. "With this past group, I gave them something that was close in proximity to a leak that they've seen before. Then, maybe they fool themselves into thinking, 'hey, same old story.' But in reality, it's something else entirely.” Zach said.
Zach’s knowledge and creativity is one factor that helps set IRTC apart from other training schools.
"I like to make it so that group challenges aren't so routine," Zach said. "If the actions are the same, if the steps are the same, if the type of leak is the same -- none of that is interesting for them."
Beyond our 24-hour HAZWOPER Technician class, IRTC also offers multiple Operator certifications for anyone looking for more training in Industrial Refrigeration.
October 26, 2018
Students suited up this week for our HAZWOPER course!
They participated in a live, emergency response drill utilizing full personal protective equipment. Check out the photos of students maneuvering their way around our lab to fix the “leak” during the drill.
October 24, 2018
Industrial Refrigeration Technical College and Innovative Refrigeration Systems, Inc. welcomed the Blue Ridge RETA Chapter’s Western Virginia Expo in September. The event, hosted in Lyndhurst at Innovative and IRTC, brought in more than 200 people, 30 vendors and 9 speakers.
People traveled from near and far for the Blue Ridge RETA Chapter’s first expo; it was deemed a success by attendees.
Kelli Gibson, Marking Services. Inc., came all the way from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“The expo is a great opportunity for me to get out and meet my customers, talk to them, see what’s going on in the industry from their point of view and deepen that relationship,” she said. “I’ve put so many faces to names today. It would take me probably 6 or 7 business trips to do it, whereas here I can do it in one spot.”
MSI does business all over the world and has quite a few customers in the eastern US region.
“This has been awesome; I’m really glad we were given an invitation to attend and I’m happy we were able to do it,” Gibson said. “Everything has been done really well at the expo. Everything that we’ve needed has been thought of.”
This is the first year the Blue Ridge RETA Chapter has been active. The event was planned by chapter members and volunteers.
“We’re really excited that this was the chapter’s first expo and quite honestly it’s a huge success,” Chris Newman, of Midatlantic Refrigeration LLC, said. “These expos are really great. We get to actually meet the end users that use our products. For the most part, because my contact is the industrial refrigeration installing contractor, I only usually interact with them on a daily basis. A show like this gives us an opportunity to actually interact with the end users.”
Nick DeVillo, of CIMCO Refrigeration Inc., agreed.
“I was impressed,” he said. “For being the first annual expo, it was very nice. It was well thought out, coordinated, weather was great — it was a good experience all around and a good turn out too.”
President of the Blue Ridge RETA Chapter, Ray Urban, was pleased with the expo. He gave a special shout out to Innovative and IRTC for holding the event at their facility and contributing to the success.
“Between vendors and participants, the numbers exceeded what I thought we were going to have, especially considering weather and the recent conditions,” he said of the hurricane threat the week before.
“Without the vendors, you have to remember this would not happen,” he added. “The vendors have been great.”
The Blue Ridge RETA Chapter members hope to expand on the expo for next year.
“The vendors are excited to come back and see an even bigger event,” Urban said. “I want to expand this to more than just ammonia. Every freezer warehouse has freezer doors, dock doors. I want to expand this out. I’m totally excited. I’m looking forward to start planning for next year.”
October 19, 2018
We love a full classroom! This large class is hard at work in our Operator III course.
Operator III is designed for students to understand, analyze and troubleshoot the complete operation of an industrial refrigeration system.
The 4 ½ day course covers topics that may be present on RETA’s CIRO exam.
At the end of the course, students will receive a certificate upon passing the exam. They also have the option to sit for the RETA CIRO examination.