Large-scale disaster drill held in Flanders supported by EU Commission

A total of 300 people took part in a large-scale disaster exercise in Ranst, Flanders, on Saturday. The response of the fire brigade, ambulance, police and the administrative level were tested.

The main purpose of the exercise was to test the multidisciplinary response of Belgian emergency services in a disaster involving chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) substances. As an exercise, students spread a toxic substance at a party with vulnerable people.

This year's disaster exercise had a European dimension. Researchers from eNOTICE and Proactive, two projects sponsored by the European Commission, participated. eNOTICE aims to develop a European network of CBRN training centres, while Proactive focuses on the needs of vulnerable civilians by first responders.

"The risk of a CBRN incident is real," says Antwerp provincial councillor Jan De Haes. "An accident, pandemic, terrorist attacks, military violence... with these threats in mind, European cooperation is more important than ever. And with this exercise, we are also putting our best foot forward for vulnerable groups."


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