What do the Ng Teng Fong Hospital in Singapore, the fire department of Madawaska, Maine (USA), the CBRN National Training Center in Vught (Holland) and the Buehring Base in Kuwait have in common?
Completely different environments and scattered locations throughout the planet, which a priori have no common denominator. But they share a common concern: keep their operational capabilities ready and prepared to perform an effective crisis management in case of a CBRNe incident.
That is why recently, in these four locations, training and training exercises have been developed to keep their operative capacities updated and prepared to manage the consequences of an NBC incident with biological, radiological or chemical agents (TICs or CWAs).
The exercise of the NG Teng Fong General Hospital of Singapore, was focused on improving its capabilities to manage a massive care of patients in the hospital, caused by a CBRN incident that causes a large number of casualties.
The exercise carried out in Madawaska, Maine, was another Joint Exercise with participation of both Fire brigades and the Maine National Guard and US Customs and Border Protection, focused on the simulation of the protocol to be developed in case of finding a package suspected of containing chemical or biological agents. unknown.
In the case of the exercise carried out in the Netherlands, it was a multidisciplinary exercise with the participation of the Army and Civil Protection with the aim of being prepared for CBRN attacks or accidents in the Netherlands.
The exercise of the 208th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Company and the Emergency teams (Fire and Medical) of the Buehring Base of Kuwait, aimed at training in the decontamination and medical treatment of people affected by a CBRN incident, as well as the decontamination of an aircraft. All this with the condition of being carried out in a desert climate.
CBRNe incidents are usually included in the category of HILP events (High Impact, Low Probability), it means, events with a low probability that they occur are very small, but its consequences are enormous and devastating.
Crisis management CBRN protocols determine that First Responders and Emergency Units training, together with adequate and necessary equipment are main elements to ensure a correct and rapid response to an incident (accident or terrorist attack) with biological, radiological or chemical agents.
Particularly, CBRN decontamination protocols highlight the need to have accurate decontamination people capabilities ready to manage CBRNe incidents which usually could happen in a wide spectrum of scenarios: urban environments, the interior of buildings, critical infrastructures or open field.
Basic operational capabilities established for that purpose are: portable decontamination apparatus, Rapid Deployment Decontamination Systems for First Responders and Mass Decon Stations to deal with large numbers of casualties. And finally, proper decontamination agents to carry out the decontamination depending on the contaminating agent present: biological agents, radiological agents or chemical agents (TICs and CWAs).
In summary, Innovation (having most efficient decontamination systems) and training are two key premises for First Responders and Emergency Teams to ensure that they maintain optimal operational capabilities that, in the event of a CBRNe incidents allow them to mitigate their effects and save lives.