PReparedness against CBRNE threats through cOmmon Approaches between security praCTItioners and the VulnerablE civil society

Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear & Explosive (CBRNe) incidents, whether accidental or terrorist-based, can have a high impact on society. PROACTIVE aims to increase practitioner effectiveness in managing large and diverse groups of people in a CBRNe environment.


The main goal of the PROACTIVE project is to enhance preparedness against and response to a CBRNe incident through a better harmonisation of procedures between various categories of practitioners, and a better understanding of the needs of vulnerable citizen groups. Click on the PROACTIVE leaflet for more information.

Facts and Figures



behavioural issues associated with responding to a CBRNe incident and potential shortcomings in existing practitioner procedures and tools with respect to vulnerable groups.


real-time communication and collaboration with the use of new tools such as mobile apps for better situational awareness and better response coordination.


combinations of selected tools in joint field exercises which deliberately involve a diverse population that encompasses vulnerable citizens and non-trained staff.


human-centred recommendations for EU standards concerning the integration of CBRNe technologies and innovations that are better adapted to the needs of all citizens.

Project framework

PROACTIVE tests common approaches between European safety and security practitioners, in particular Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and CBRNe First Responders. 

Within PROACTIVE, a Practitioner Stakeholder Advisory Board (PSAB) and a Civil Society Advisory Board (CSAB) have been created and are under continuous expansion.

The project activities and research methods include several systematic reviews, surveys, focus-groups, workshops and field exercises for which the PSAB and CSAB will provide valuable insight.

Liaising with the eNotice H2020 project, three joint exercises are planned. During these, we will test the usability of existing procedures and tools developed within PROACTIVE. This will provide innovative recommendations for policy-makers and safety and security practitioners.

Key concepts and definitions

PRACTITIONERS: these are Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs; typically Police organisations), First Responders (e.g. civil protection agencies, fire brigades, ambulance) and related stakeholders including private and public bodies, transport and logistic operators, etc. who may be involved in a response in support of the official responders and international, national and municipal authorities and civil society organisations such as those that help persons with disabilities and crisis management. (From the latter perspective, ‘Practitioner’ may also include personnel who were not specifically trained for CBRNe response or CBRN decontamination procedures, such as railway staff at a railway station or a doctor who might be caught up in the incident).

CITIZENS: these are members of the public but specifically including citizens with needs that differ to the average population such as persons with disabilities, the ill (e.g. with chronic or acute health conditions), elderly, or members of an ethnic minority or of a vulnerable group. Vulnerable groups may include children, pregnant women, persons with disabilities, chronic medical disorders or addiction, older persons with functional limitations and health restrictions, institutionalized individuals as well as their carers and companions. Vulnearable citizens also include persons with limited proficiency of the respective national languages or with restrictions regarding use of transportation.

TOOLS: these include processes, software, procedures, machine, mechanism, apparatus, appliance, piece of equipment and contraption.  Several tools can be regrouped under a toolkit dedicated to a specific target group.

Outputs, impact and added value

PROACTIVE will result in toolkits for CBRNe practitioners and for civil society organisations.

  • The toolkit for practitioners will include a web collaborative platform with database scenarios for communication and exchange of best practice among LEAs as well as an innovative response tool in the form of a mobile app.
  • The toolkit for civil society will include a mobile app adapted to various vulnerable citizen categories and pre-incident public information material.

The expected results are in line with the the overall Security Union approach to fight crime and terrorism. Our results will provide valuable inputs to the EUROPOL initiative to develop a knowledge hub for CBRNe activities and help consolidate the EU Action Plan to enhance preparedness for CBRN threats.







Union internationale des chemins de fer (UIC – coordinator) France

CBRNE Ltd (CBRNE) United Kingdom

Population Protection Institute (PPI – Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic) Czech Republic

Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) Germany

Umea Universitet (UMU) Sweden

Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei (DHPOL) Germany

Rinisoft Ltd (RINISOFT) Bulgaria

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (WMP) UK

Eticas Research and Consulting SL (ETICAS) Spain

State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) Ukraine

Department of Health – Public Health England  (DHSC-PHE) UK 

State Police of Latvia (SPL) Latvia

An Garda Síochána – National Police Force Ireland (AGS) Ireland

Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt (FFI) Norway

Komenda Główna Policji  (NPH) Poland

Advisory board

The consortium is reinforced through a large Advisory Board which is ensuring that the PROACTIVE outcomes meet the needs of both LEAs and the vulnerable civil society. The Advisory Board is being extended throughout the life of the project through a permanent new members recruitment process.

The Practitioner Stakeholder Advisory Board (PSAB) includes a high-level international panel of experts from different areas of knowledge and Practitioner stakeholders: LEAs, First Responders (e.g. medical, fire brigades), the military (including the European Defence Agency), rail security experts, government agencies, etc. Check out our flyer for more.

The Civil Society Advisory Board (CSAB) includes a diverse panel of representatives of vulnerable citizen groups: individual experts (on subjects e.g. vulnerability or disability rights) and civil society organisations (representatives of mental health organisations, associations of the elderly, children, passengers with disabilities, etc). Check out our flyer for more.

The External Ethics Advisory Board (EEAB) includes several independent ethics experts. The EEAB will provide advice and suggestions on the solutions and results of the project and will supervise the data protection and ethical issues of project research development, ensuring the PROACTIVE research activities and tools developed comply with ethical standards.


Project structure



WP NumberDeliverable nameLead participantDiss. Level
WP1CBRNe terrorism in Europe and beyond: Human Factors analysis of preparedness and responseDHSC-PHE
D1.1Findings from systematic review of public perceptions and responsesDHSC-PHEPU
D1.2Findings from systematic review of current policy for mitigation and management of CBRNe terrorismDHSC-PHEPU
D1.3Guidelines and recommendations for mitigation and management of CBRNe terrorismDHSC-PHEPU
WP2Engagement of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and other PractitionersDHPOL
D2.1Formation of the Practitioner Stakeholder Advisory BoardCBRNEPU
D2.2Report on the pre-exercise workshop with PractitionersDHSC-PHEPU
D2.3Report on the survey and benchmarking study resultsDHPOLPU
D2.4Recommendations on how to adapt SOPs and toolsPPIPU
D2.5Final Report on common approaches of CBRNe PractitionersDHPOLPU
WP3Engagement of the civil society including vulnerable citizens UMU
D3.1Formation of the Civil Society Advisory BoardUMUPU
D3.2Aide Memoire for future exercises or demonstrations involving vulnerable groupsCBRNEPU
D3.3Report on the workshop with vulnerable citizensDHSC-PHEPU
D3.4Report on the survey on common approaches of the civil societyDHPOLPU
WP4Toolkit for LEAs and security Policy-makersRINISOFT
D4.1Report on the High-level Architecture design including an interface control documentRINISOFTPU
D4.2Developed Web Collaborative platformRINISOFTPU
D4.3Developed Modular App for PractitionersRINISOFTPU
D4.4Policy-making toolkit to improve CBRNe preparedness in the European Security ModelETICASPU
WP5Toolkit for civil society organisationsDHSC-PHE
D5.1Initial Pre-Incident Public Information Materials for CBRNe terrorismDHSC-PHEPU
D5.2Final Pre-Incident Public Information Materials for CBRNe terrorismDHSC-PHEPU
D5.3Requirements of the Mobile App for vulnerable citizens and revised technical specificationsRINISOFTPU
D5.4Developed Mobile App for vulnerable citizensRINISOFTPU
WP6Joint exercises, evaluation and validation of the toolsCBRNE
D6.1The PROACTIVE Methodology for the Field ExercisesCBRNEPU
D6.2Scenario development and specifications of the evaluation methodologyDHSC-PHEPU
D6.3Report on the first field exercise and evaluation workshopDHPOLPU
D6.4Report on the second field exercise and evaluation workshopCBRNEPU
D6.5Report on the third field exercise and evaluation workshopUMUPU
D6.6Summary Report, findings and recommendations following the three field exercisesDHSC-PHEPU
WP7Dissemination and exploitationUIC
D7.1Project logo, website and social media accountsUICPU
D7.2Initial project leafletUICPU
D7.3Communication and dissemination planUICCO
D7.4Data Management Plan and Research EthicsETICASCO
D7.5Exploitation plan for commercialisation and business development strategyRINISOFTCO
D7.6Final project brochureUICPU
D7.7Exploitation plan for commercialisation and business development strategy after the end of the projectRINISOFTCO
WP8Legal, Ethical and Acceptability RequirementsETICAS
D8.1Legal and ethical state-of-the-art on CBRNe preparedness and responseETICASPU
D8.2Legal and acceptability recommendations for PROACTIVE toolkitETICASPU
D8.3Materials and briefing for PROACTIVE exercisesCBRNEPU
D8.4Ethical and societal assessment of PROACTIVE outputsETICASPU
D9.1Project management and quality assurance planUICCO


AuthorsDateTitleShort DiscriptionTypeConference / Journal / BookLink
Havârneanu, G.M. & Petersen, L.2024PROACTIVE EU Project: Practical results for CBRNe emergency responders

Le projet européen PROACTIVE : résultats pratiques pour les intervenants en cas d’urgence NRBCe
This paper presents an overview of PROACTIVE's innovations and practical results, all while highlighting key findings on Emergency Medical Services. It also discusses how the PROACTIVE recommendations and tools can support emergency medicine in a CBRNe environment.Academic Journal PaperMédecine de Catastrophe - Urgences CollectivesDOI 10.1016/j.pxur.2024.01.004
Petersen, L., Havârneanu, G.M., McCrone, N., Markarian, G.,2023Practitioner Perspectives of the PROACTIVE CBRNe Disaster AppThis work-in-progress paper focuses on a workshop carried out with practitioners to test the first PROACTIVE mobile app prototype. The results demonstrate that the prototype mobile app is in line with practitioners expectations but that there is room for improvement.Conference Proceedings (with blind peer review)20th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2023)DOI 10.59297/HVJN6870
Petersen, L., Havârneanu, G.M., Arnold, A., Carbon, D., Görgen, T., Gavel, A., Kroupa, T., & Kardel, D.2023Applicability of PROACTIVE recommendations on CBRNe risks and threats to passenger rail and metro sectorsWith a particular focus on rail and metro, this paper examines answers collected from railway and metro security experts during PROACTIVE research activities to see if the PROACTIVE recommendations are fit for these sectors.Academic Journal PaperJournal of Transportation SecurityDOI: 10.1007/s12198-023-00263-3
Zamorano, M. M., Bertelli, V, McCrone, N., & Petersen, L.2023Privacy by Design in CBRN Technologies Targeted to Vulnerable Groups: The Case of PROACTIVEThis paper provides the results of the privacy impact assessment conducted for the PROACTIVE solutions and its subsequent privacy by design integration process.Conference Proceedings (with blind peer review)International Conference on Information Technology in Disaster Risk ReductionDOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-34207-3_16
Dennis, A., Weston, D., Amlôt, R., Arnold, A., Carbon, D., & Carter, H.2023The role of pre-incident information and responder communication in effective management of casualties, including members of vulnerable groups, during a decontamination field exerciseThis paper provides the results from the first PROACTIVE field training exercise regarding First Responder communication, the needs of vulnerable individuals, levels of compliance, and the impact of pre-incident information, during decontamination.Academic Journal PaperInternational Journal of Disaster Risk ReductionDOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.103806
Petersen, L., Havârneanu, G.M., McCrone, N., Markarian, G., Burlin, A., & Johansson, P. 2022CBRNe, a universally designed app for that?This article examines the results from four workshops held with the potential end-users of the PROACTIVE CBRNe mobile app, recruited from vulnerable groups. Following the MoSCoW methodology, requirements were established and their relevance to the Universal Design principles discussed. Conference Proceedings
(with blind peer review)
19th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2022)ISCRAM Digital Library: 2454
Havârneanu, G.M., Petersen, L., & McCrone, N.2022Stakeholder Engagement Model to facilitate the uptake by end-users of Crisis Communication SystemsDeveloping a sustainable and sucessful crisis communication system requires a strong engagement model, which PROACTIVE has aimed to achieve via a plethora of methods which are explained in this chapter.Book chapterSecurity Technologies and Social Implications. IEEE Press. WileyDOI: 10.1002/9781119834175.ch8
Havârneanu, G.M., Petersen, L., Arnold, A., Carbon, D., & Görgen, T. 2022Preparing railway stakeholders against CBRNe threats through better cooperation with security practitionersThis paper studies six dimensions of the railway preparedness against CBRNe events by examining two surveys: one with 223 first responders, one with 30 rail companies. It identifies five skills that railway staff need to develop or improve.Academic Journal PaperApplied ErgonomicsDOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2022.103752
Carbon, D., Arnold, A., Görgen, T. & Wüller, C.2022Crisis communication in CBRNe preparedness and response: Considering the needs of vulnerable peopleThis paper presents the findings from two surveys, one with CBRNe practitioner organisations (May–June 2020 and May–July 2021) and one with Civil Society organisations (October–December 2020), which revealed differences between the current CBRNe related communication management of CBRNe practitioners and the special needs of vulnerable people in crisis communication.Academic Journal PaperInternational Journal of Disaster Risk ReductionDOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2022.103187
Zamorano, M. M., Trevisan, F., Bertelli, V, Marsh, I. Petersen, L.2022Stakeholders’ acceptability in CBRNe preparedness and response: assessing differential impact through PROACTIVE projectThis poster analyses how acceptability of end-users and vulnerable groups is considered in CBRNe guidance documents and integrated into relevant technologies.PosterCBRNE Research and Innovation 2022DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20009.88162
Petersen, L., Havârneanu, G.M., McCrone, N., Markarian, G., & Kolev G.2021Universal Design & the PROACTIVE Project CBRNe AppThis article lays out the methodology PROACTIVE is currently employing in order to create and validate the disaster app for the public and states some core requirements already co-developed.Conference Proceedings
(with blind peer review)
17th annual conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2020)ISCRAM Digital Library: 2388
Anson, S., Bertel, D., Havârneanu G., & Petersen, L.2021Inclusive communication in times of crisis: lessons learned and recommendations from COVID-19 and other CBRNe incidents based on recent COVINFORM & PROACTIVE findingsResearchers participating in two EU funded projects, COVINFORM and PROACTIVE, published this white paper providing five recommendations for inclusive communication. These recommendations are based on research undertaken on crises such as CBRNe incidents, the COVID-19 outbreak and others.WhitepaperPROACTIVE & COVINFORMDOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.27104.97286/1
Arnold, A., Carbon, D., & Görgen, T.2021Besonders vulnerable Personengruppen im CBRNe-EinsatzmanagementConference Proceedings26th German Prevention Congress (2021)DPT Online: 6595
Petersen, L., Havârneanu, G.M., Markarian, G., & McCrone, N.2019CBRNe and vulnerable citizens: co-creating an app for thatThis article lays out the methodology PROACTIVE will employ in order to create and validate the PROACTIVE CBRNe disaster app.Conference Proceedings (with blind peer review)2019 International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Disaster Management (ICT-DM)DOI: 10.1109/ICT-DM47966.2019.9032967

Key Results

PROACTIVE CBRNe Crisis Communication System (CCS)

The PROACTIVE CBRNe Crisis Communication System is an innovative response tool which improves two-way communication between civil society and first responders. It also increases preparedness through its CBRNe Library. It is composed of three tools: the Web Collaborative Platform for LEAs, the Modular App for Practitioners, and the Mobile App for the public. The Mobile App for Practitioners and the Mobile App for Vulnerable Citizens are available as one single app, with the target end-user (practitioner or vulnerable citizen) being differentiated by access rights, available on Google Play and App storeAll three tools are powered by the dedicated PROACTIVE CBRNe backend.

PROACTIVE Pre-Incident Public Information Materials for CBRNe Incidents

These public information materials are part of the toolkit for civil society developed in PROACTIVE. Co-created together between PROACTIVE consortium researchers, the public at large and CBRNe practitioners (full process is reported in Deliverables D5.1 & D5.2), the final results demonstrated that the materials are positively viewed by the public and that they can effectively influence knowledge, understanding and confidence in undertaking recommended behaviours over the long term (for at least six months).

PROACTIVE Aide Memoire for Training Exercises Involving Vulnerable Groups

This handy checklist Aide Memoire aims to assist exercise planners in organising training exercises where the public, including vulnerable groups, participate as volunteer victims. By incorporating the Aide Memoire into their exercise planning process, organisers will be in a better position to include in their emergency exercises individuals who made need support to meet their functional needs.

Key reasons to include the public at large in exercises:

  • Responders are provided with an opportunity to see how well their SOPs meet the needs of vulnerable groups
  • Allows for mistakes to occur in a safe environment
  • Role play volunteers also benefit by increasing their preparedness for CBRNe incidents
  • Overall increase in societal resilience

We have come up with two handy formats for our Aide Memoire: one that is easy to carry around, in a 3-fold format, and another one designed for desk use, which is the A4 size.

More details available in Deliverable D3.2.

Policy Making Toolkit

Final Brochure


Coordinator: International Union of Railways (UIC)
Project Manager: Grigore M. Havarneanu
Website: www.proactive-h2020.eu
Email: contact@proactive-h2020.eu
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/proactive-eu/
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 832981

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