Los Alamos National LaboratoryHAZMAT Challenge
Bringing together HAZMAT professionals to train and network.

Event Information

The HAZMAT Challenge is not for the faint of heart. Teams should be prepared for local conditions and fully geared to participate.

Access to TA-49

The LANL Hazardous Device Team also uses TA-49; therefore, every individual will need to sign in and out daily for accountability purposes in case an evacuation is necessary. Players and visitors will be given instructions in case TA-49 must be used for this purpose. Arrangements will be made for gate entry and exit while the Challenge is in progress. Please observe signs and markings indicating entry areas.

Note: Security badges are required for players and visitors. Badges will be issued at the gate unless otherwise noted.

Items to Bring

  • Equipment available upon request. Advanced notice necessary. Supply is limited.
  • Full bunker ensemble (to include coat, pants, hood, structural firefighter helmet, structural firefighter gloves, bunker boots)
  • Level "A" suits
  • Hard hats
  • HAZMAT boots (or comparable)
  • Work gloves (leather or "mechanix" type)
  • Saranex Suits
  • SCBA's


The principal weather-related concerns this time of year are lightning, heat stress, and sunburn. HAZMAT Challenge staff will monitor participants for heat stress. An indication of lightning near TA-49 will result in postponement of Challenge activities, and participants and observers will be instructed to seek shelter until the threat of lightning has passed. Sunscreen and wet-weather clothing are highly recommended for all visitors and players.


Emergency medical, fire or other emergency response may be obtained by contacting a member of the HAZMAT Challenge staff, using a Laboratory telephone (911), or by requesting assistance from on-site medical staff. The Los Alamos Medical Center is approximately 15 minutes away from TA-49. Sirens and lights should be respected unless you are instructed otherwise. In the event of an emergency involving TA-49, players and visitors will be given instructions by HAZMAT Challenge staff.


TA-49 is relatively undeveloped and its inhabitants are known to include rodents, snakes, and other animals. Hantavirus and plague are both concerns in New Mexico; keep clear of burrows and nests. Please report any suspicious nesting locations to the HAZMAT Challenge staff.

Parking, vehicle operation

There is a significant amount of traffic onsite for the Challenge. Vehicle parking is limited to marked areas. The speed limit for TA-49 is 35 mph.


The possession and use of illegal drugs are prohibited on Los Alamos National Laboratory property. For the safety of all, players or visitors found with illegal drugs will be escorted immediately from LANL property. Prescription medications are permitted with the provision that players currently taking such drugs advise HAZMAT Challenge staff of the type and medical reason for those medications.

Alcoholic beverages

The possession and use of alcoholic beverages are prohibited Los Alamos National Laboratory property. Players and visitors are advised that the consumption of alcohol impairs the body’s ability to retain fluids, thus increasing the risk of dehydration and heat-related illness while wearing personal protective equipment under strenuous conditions.


Los Alamos National Laboratory promotes a smoke-free work environment, so please restrict smoking to designated areas and ensure they are thoroughly extinguished. The fire danger in the TA-49/Bandelier/Jemez area is high to extreme at this time. 

Archaeological sites

There are a number of protected archaeological sites in and around the HAZMAT Training Center, not all of them well-marked. Please respect these sites, marked with rope and flags, by leaving them undisturbed.

Telephones, messages

The telephone number at TA-49 is (505) 665-9989. Long distance calls may be placed when you are using a toll-free number to place a credit card call. If you need additional assistance, please speak to a member of the Challenge staff.

Restrooms, sanitation

Building 113 (immediately adjacent to the training area) is provided with a single, unisex restroom. There are also several “porta-potties” for visitors and players.

Food, drink

Lunch will be provided during the Challenge for all team members, helpers, and evaluators. Water and Gatorade also will be provided at all training props.