Warsaw, 10 July, 2020
The preparations for the Full Scale Field Exercise (FX), main and final activity in the EU funded EU-CHEM-REACT 2 project entered into decisive stage. On 10th July ICCSS has conducted a first session of the Final Planning Conference for FX in Lviv, Ukraine.
Due to continued COVID-19 travel and safety restrictions the session was organized on-line. The session led by. Amb. Krzysztof Paturej, ICCSS President and EU-CHEM-REACT 2 Project Leader, and co-chaired by Lviv University of Life Safety (LSULS), the FX host. The session was attended by 28 participants from Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia as well as by representatives from EU DG ECHO, UN OCHA and WHO.
Mr Jose Almodovar-Araez from EU DG ECHO has underlined the relevance of the project, importance to exercise the activation of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. He stressed the priority for COVID-19 safety and security.
The session confirmed a strong commitment of all beneficiaries and partners to finalize the EU-CHEM-REACT 2 project and conduct the Field Exercise (FX), as the final project activity, as proposed by LSULS and ICCSS. The participants expressed support and confidence in the ICCSS leadership in the project successful implementation. Gen. ret. Wieslaw Lesniakiewicz, Deputy Head of the Polish Association of Volunteer Fire Service, who leads the FX preparations, described a set of measures to be applied to ensure a safe and secure conduct of the FX. A basic requirement will be separation of participating teams.
The final conclusion of the meeting was to proceed with the FX preparations for 20-21 October, 2020, subject to final decision to be made during second on-line session of the FX Final Planning Conference. All beneficiaries confirmed their participation in the FX. There was confirmation of participation at FX of international teams from Belarus, Czech Republic, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine.
It was agreed to conduct a second on-line session of the FX Final Planning Conference in end August 2020, where a final decision to conduct FX on 20-21 October, 2020, will be taken. The leading conditions to run the FX in 2020 are the provision of full safety and security for the participants and an active participation of the EU Civil Protection team, followed the activation of the UCPM.
Deadline for applications for EUCP Team and EU Observers was extended till 25th August, 2020.
The participants agreed to develop a COVID-19 safety/security manual for FX conduct. ICCSS and LSULS were requested to develop a FX COVID-19 safety/security manual, in consultations with project partners and international organizations.
UN OCHA and WHO were invited to make proposals on their active participation in FX, including through relevant accommodation of FX scenario.
The session was followed by a series of bilateral meetings and consultations, which confirmed decision taken during the Session.
EU-CHEM-REACT-2 is program enhancing national and regional capacity building, civil protection and cooperation in reducing chemical threats, promoting and developing EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) through trainings and exercises. The project is constituted on a basis of unique regional and international partnership of international stakeholders from Belarus, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine in cooperation with the international agencies, including EU, UN OCHA, WHO (IHR) and is led by ICCSS.The program concentrates on testing, planning, preparedness and response to CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) via exercises, trainings, seminars and best practices exchanges
Full Scale Field Exercise (FX)
The FX developed and adapted for unique purposes of the EU-CHEM-REACT 2project, will test in practice the parts of scenario related chemical man-made and natural disasters. FX main focus on testing the use of UCPM and relevant information and assistance procedures of international organisations, including UN OCHA, OPCW, WHO (IRH). As a result, it will enhance response and coordination capacities in requesting and providing cross border assistance and Union Civil Protection Mechanism activation in case of events involving environmental emergencies.
EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM)
The overall objective of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is to strengthen cooperation between the EU Member States and 6 Participating States, in the field of civil protection, with a view to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the Mechanism. Through the Mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond.