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CoE Projects - No.34

Title: Strengthening first responders and medical emergency services in case of chemical incidents

Target area: Middle East

Total estimated cost:  euro

Project Duration: 36 months

Starting date: 1/1/2014

Domain: Chemical

Project Implementer: Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (MIHE), Poland

The project aims to elaborate a series of improvements in CBRN risk Mitigation in partner countries in the Middle East (Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon). The work packages are as follows:

  1. Knowledge development and transfer of best practice on inter-agency response.

  2. Awareness, risk assessment, import/export monitoring and management of dangerous chemical agents.

  3. Capacity building of national HAZMAT (abbreviation from HAZardous MATerials) intervention teams in emergency preparedness and response to incidents.

  4. Strengthening capacities of the emergency medical service (EMS) in preparedness and response to incidents involving dangerous materials.

  5. Enhancing on-site detection, sampling, sample handling and analysis capabilities for dangerous chemicals.

Main Activities:

The project basically covers two categories of actors: the first responders and the emergency medical services.

The first responders will receive an advanced training in management and risk assessment of dangerous chemicals, including chemical weapons or their precursors.

One important work package includes the delivery of a large set of equipment necessary for protection and decontamination of the first responder teams, as well as detection and identification of the dangerous materials (including chemical, biological or radiological materials). The equipment covers a team of 20 people in each country. A training programme dedicated to emergency response is foreseen, based on the same “train the trainers” approach.

The training programme for the first responders is not limited only to intervention on the event site, but will also cover detection, identification and material sampling techniques. This programme will be tailored made for each country. On one side this will allow them to better plan their intervention, and one the other side they will be aware for instance of forensic aspects that might be relevant later during an eventual legal action.

The second category of actors involved is the medical emergency services. The approach is the same as for the first responders: the state of the art international knowledge on this matter will be compiled, and the national practitioners from the countries will be identified during the preparatory phase. An advanced training programme will be developed and delivered in each country, focused on medical intervention in case of an incident involving dangerous chemical, biological and radiological materials. In addition some simulations will be carried out, and the personal will receive training on using personal protective equipment for themselves, decontamination of the patients.

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