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Final conference of the CBRN-project in Madrid

Operations after CBRN-incidents represent a special situation which differs from other crises. The invisible threat imposes a double physical and psychological pressure on the emergency staff. Nevertheless, psychosocial crisis management has been neglected so far. Therefore, a project, which is co-financed by the EU-Commission, has dealt with this topic since 2011under the auspices of THW. At the final conference in Madrid, from Tuesday to Thursday, more than 50 experts from 15 EU member states discussed the results gained to date.

Among others, the results include a crisis management plan for hospitals which is demonstrated by the example of Germany and was developed for missions. Altogether, the project is to sharpen the awareness of the exercise need of emergency staff and hospital personnel after CBRN-incidents (also referred to as NBC) across Europe. At the moment, psychosocial crisis management, especially for CBRN-incidents, has not yet been integrated into the training of emergency staff. This is precisely what the project partners from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands want to change.


At the conference, they presented the results from last years’ practical courses for rescue and hospital staff to international participants from disaster management and psychosocial after-care. Afterwards, in speeches and workshops, the experts dealt again with the results gained so far. The participants concluded that psychosocial crisis management must become a part of general crisis management to reduce the level of stress on emergency staff, especially after CBRN-incidents.


The project partners are now in the throes of compiling the suggestions which were made by the conference participants. After the completion of this task, the lessons learned will be made available to be used across the EU.


Participants included: Mr Jürgen Weidemann, Head of Unit in the section Crisis Management and Civil Protection at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, responsible for THW, Mr Juan Antonio Diaz Cruz, Director-General for Civil Protection and Emergencies at the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, as well as Mr Ralph Tiesler, Vice-President of the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance.


The project partners


The project consortium:
• Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), Germany
• Alexianer Krefeld GmbH, Centre for Psychotraumatology (ZfP), Germany
• Stichting Impact, Dutch Knowledge and Information Centre for Psychosocial Care after Disasters (Impact), the Netherlands
• Civil Protection and Disaster Management of the Ministry of the Interior of the Spanish Government, Spain
• Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), Germany


The Steering committee:
EU-office of the Red Cross in Brussels
• NOFER Institute for Occupational Health, Poland
• German Fire Brigade Association, Germany
THW local section Bremen/Lower-Saxony

  • The project partners, together with Mr Jürgen Weidemann (1st row, 2nd on the right), Head of Unit, in section Crisis Management and Civil Protection at the Federal Ministry of the Interior. (show image)

  • The Director-General for Civil Protection and Emergencies at the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, Mr Juan Antonia Diaz Cruz (middle), was one of the participants in the conference.  (show image)

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