Five full-scale exercises for Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) modules, Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) other Response Capacities are being conducted throughout Europe this year.
The Module Exercises (MODEX) are designed to train and prepare for deployments in disaster affected areas.
By Declan Keogh
The first Exercise took place in Tinglev/Denmark and the next one is at Montana/Bulgaria from 12th to 15th of June.
MODEX is financed by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) and are part of an exercise’s series within the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Modex Romania – MediVac Exercise: Photo Declan Keogh
Modules and other Response Capacities already registered in the Common Emergency Communications and Information System (CECIS) were invited to apply for a participation in one of the Exercises.
The main exercise objectives for the participants are to train self-sufficiency, interoperability, procedures and coordination as well as to use the exercise as a learning opportunity.
Modex Romania: Photo by James Doyle / Emergency Times
EU MODEX also gives participating modules and other Response Capacities the opportunity for certification as European Emergency Response Capacity (EERC) and for classification or re-classification to meet international standards for deployments in disasters.
Over the past few years, natural disasters have become the norm across Europe, with over 200 people being killed in various disasters in 2017 while the cost to the economy from 2016 disasters is estimated at €10 billion in damages.
Photo: Courtesy European Commission
Earthquakes, storms, flash floods and forest fires have taken place in many EU countries, all of which have left affected countries suffering badly and in humanitarian need, and many of which required international assistance.
The EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism is required to undergo training and competence exercises on an on-going basis, to improve the operational cooperation in civil protection assistance and to assess the capacities of the medical teams and experts among different countries.
Modex Romania Exercise: Photo: Declan Keogh / Emergency Times
Contingency plans, decision-making procedures, communication to the public and the media in major emergencies are all tested in identifying further training needs and operational gaps.
These five full-scale exercises for 2019 will assist emergency responders and rescue crews in preparation and training for such events.
Modex Romania: Earthquake Exercise – By James Doyle