Office of Environmental Management

HAMMER Celebrates 20 Years of Excellence

October 10, 2017

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee addresses the audience during a ceremony celebrating 20 years of excellence of HAMMER.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee addresses the audience during a ceremony celebrating 20 years of excellence of HAMMER.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and other officials gathered last week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Volpentest Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response (HAMMER) Federal Training Center at the Hanford Site.  

   The one-of-a-kind facility provides realistic, hands-on, and up-to-date training to site workers, military, national, and international emergency responders, and Department of Homeland Security personnel. 

   Inslee, who helped establish HAMMER, said it was a great honor to be at the ceremony. 

   “I really do believe this [HAMMER] is the best safety training in America today,” the governor said. “This has happened due to the commitment to our brothers and sisters, who are doing this great work. I’m glad to have played a small role.” 

HAMMER Director Karen McGinnis discusses the growth she’s seen during the past 20 years as HAMMER’s director.
HAMMER Director Karen McGinnis discusses the growth she’s seen during the past 20 years as HAMMER’s director.
Paul Vandervert, Eric Dean, Glenn Podonsky, Dan Stepano, Bob Wilkinson and Gordon McCleary stand near a plaque unveiled for the celebration.
Paul Vandervert, Eric Dean, Glenn Podonsky, Dan Stepano, Bob Wilkinson and Gordon McCleary stand near a plaque unveiled for the celebration.

   During the ceremony, a plaque was unveiled to commemorate AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s recent recognition of HAMMER as “the single most important partnership between labor and management in the country.” 

   Nearly 300 people attended the event to show support for HAMMER and to celebrate 20 years of training that has helped people develop and maintain the knowledge and skills to safely complete their work.

   “It’s been about asking people to help us build a coalition and a world-class training center that we can use to help clean up Hanford and keep Hanford workers safe,” HAMMER Director Karen McGinnis said. 

   EM Richland Operations Office’s HAMMER is managed by contractor Mission Support Alliance.

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