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Industrial Refrigeration Technical College Holds First Class of 2019
January 24, 2019


Innovative Refrigeration Systems was excited to get back to school in 2019.

The Industrial Refrigeration Technical College (IRTC) is a 4,000 square-foot refrigeration school here on the Innovative campus in Lyndhurst, Virginia. While we have offered training to people from as far away as California and Vietnam, many of our groups travel from Virginia and the surrounding areas of the mid-Atlantic. 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.

For more information on the Industrial Refrigeration Technical College here at Innovative, you can visit www.ammoniatraining.org.