Photos from our Rieti CBRNe Training Exercise out now!

Published by laura_p on

The second PROACTIVE field exercise took place on 16th November 2022, hosted by the NBC School training centre in Rieti, Italy, in conjunction with eNOTICE project. The aim for PROACTIVE was to test the tools we are developing, our Pre-Incident Information Materials and our Crisis Communication System, all while incorporating the direct participation of members of civil society, including representatives of vulnerable groups, as role play causalities in the exercise. 

The joint action was a multi-agency exercise with representation from Trenitalia, Carabinieri, firefighters, military doctors, and an army CBRN unit. The scenario was a suspected chemical incident affecting nearby civilians. The exercise started at an urban train station, with passengers already on a train awaiting departure and others still on the platform. Then, a large boom was heard and intense, dense smoke, which was simulated with artificial fog, was seen. Passengers were evacuated, held in the warm zone, and underwent decontamination.

At the end of exercise, citizen volunteers demonstrated a great attitude in terms of their will to learn more about CBRNe. They also showed a willingness to collaborate and support the work of specialised responders to minimise the impact of a disaster.

The first responders felt that including the public at large in CBRNe training exercises was an “amazing” – their words – opportunity.

Below is a series of photos showing the day’s events:

In the foreground a desk with many wrist bands and forms. In the middle ground, two people (a man and a woman) are wearing orange tabards. One is putting a wristband on the wrist of a woman participant. A man participant is leaning over on the desk and reading a form.

The exercise day started with the registration process and participants received wristbands.

In front a visually impaired woman volunteer is sitting and a person in orange tabard is helping her to fill in the form. In the background many people with orange tabards can be seen in discussion.

A member of the PROACTIVE team in orange tabard is helping a visually impaired participant to fill in the registration form.

Around 17 people are sitting and listening to people who are wearing orange tabards who are standing in front of participants and one person is explaining something. They are in a classroom. A TV with a non-legible slide is displayed.

After registration, volunteers had a Pre-Exercise Briefing, thanks to help provided by Save the Children Italy, a PROACTIVE CSAB member.

Around 13 people wearing green tabards with observer written on them are sitting and looking to the front of the room where people are standing and there is a screen. A person wearing a military uniform standing in the center of the room and giving a speech. A man in military dress is giving a speech. A woman wearing a green tabard is translating the speech in Italian sign language.

At the same time that the volunteers underwent a briefing, so did the invited Observers.

A group of people at different ages are on train. Most of them are sitting and one woman is standing, pushing a stroller down the aisle between seats.

The exercise play began with all casualty volunteers sitting on the train inside the station when an explosion was simulated by a loud noise and disco fog (dry ice), and all lights went off.

A man in the dark can be seen through the fog appearing near to the train platform. The train wagon is also slightly visible.

The military staff who were on site arrive at the impacted train to help evacuate passengers.

Around 4 people are sitting on train and looking at first responders. Two men wearing respirators are standing close to the train door and a man in an army uniform is trying to open the train door.

The train staff and military staff on site put on masks, which are available to them based on their SOPs, and both assisted passengers with evacuating them from the hot zone.

Two firefighters (men) wearing their uniform. One is standing in front and is talking on a radio set. Another firefighter is closing the door of the firetruck.

For the firefighters, the exercise play began with a call to the scene.

Three firefighters (men) in a special uniform standing next to equipment and are preparing nozzles.

The first fire fighters and equipment arrived on scene. Then, the firefighters began putting up cordons.

In front of the photo, a man is standing and we see him from behind, on his uniform Carabinieri is written. You can also see black straps on his head which implies he is wearing a mask. In the middle of the photo an army truck/lorry is shown. A man is sitting inside of the truck at the driver's spot.

At the same time, the train staff had placed an emergency call to the Carabinieri (local law enforcement agency), who dispatched a local patrol to assist.

Two persons in a hazmat suit discussing between each other. One of them is holding a yellow bench. Fire trucks can be seen in the background.

Then CBRN specialised firefighters arrived to the incident area and suited up in hazmat suits in order to evacuate non-ambulant people from the hot zone.

Two CBRN specialised staff wearing a hazmat suit in incident area, on the train platform. One is sitting on one leg and looking to ground with flash at hand. Another is looking to the inside of train. There is something on the ground. The train wagon is visible.

CBRN specialised staff in hazmat suits conducted a search of the affected station and train.

In the foreground, a carabinieri (man) in uniform wearing a respirator. In the background, around 12 volunteer participants are lined up and waiting.. The stroller/pram can be seen.

The Carabinieri evacuated the passengers to a safe space in the warm zone where they could await the arrival of specialised responders to set up decontamination.

A group of people (around 20) are huddled together under a black tent with no sides. Outside the tent, a carabinieri officer (man) can be seen wearing a respirator. Some people wearing orange tabards are also visible.

The volunteer causalities took shelter under a tent from the rain as they waited for approximately 40 minutes for the decontamination tent to be set up. This was intended to add realism to the exercise.

Two persons in a a grey hazmat uniform are standing and behind them there four people inside of tent. Two of them are wearing orange tabards.

While the ambulatory passengers waited in the warm zone, the decontamination tent was set up by the military responders who had arrived on scene.

Two persons in a green hazmat uniform and other two are wearing a grey hazmat uniform are evacuating passenger, in this case a mannequin, on bench from the hot zone. The photo is taken outside the platform.

Here, the specialised responders are evacuating the non-ambulatory casualty.

A person in a gray hazmat suit with a detector on his hand is checking hands of a woman participant, who is standing like a starfish (arms and legs spread). Behind them, the decontamination tent can be seen. Another participant is about to walk through the tent, guided by another persons in a grey hazmat suit.

The volunteers went through a check before decontamination.

A person in a grey hazmat suit holding a special detector, with the screen in one hand and scanning tool in the other, is holding it up to a woman volunteer's arm. The woman volunteer is looking towards the respondent.

The process continues in this photo.

A person in a gray hazmat suit holding a special detector, this one yellow and bigger than the ones shown in the previous photo. They are checking the shoes of participant.

The process continues in this photo.

Three Military staff in a uniform wearing a respirator. Two of them are checking the respirator of the man in the middle.

Once all the passengers and victims have been removed from the hotzone, the CBRN Defence Specialist Units from the Army were sent in to perform sampling activities. These activities were carried out at the same time as the decontamination of casualties.

Two persons in a army uniform are wearing a respirator. One of them is holding a white package and another is holding a white bottle .

Here, the military responders continue with their analysis of the scene.

Two military responders are doing analysis on the rail tracks. One is leaning down and checking the rail lines with flash. Another is checking with special detector.

The analysis was done on the rail tracks too.

Two persons wearing an army uniform and with respirator on their face. One is checking another person with special detector.

Once they were finished with their analysis, responders went through a check.

A CBRN Defence Specialist Units from the Army is decontaminating a first responder with water who is wearing a hazmat suit.

They were then decontaminated.

5 people standing in the front of a room. Four of them are wearing orange tabards and one of them is in army uniform. A man in orange tabard in the middle of the photo is shaking hands of a man in army uniform. Two people around them are applausing. A woman in orange tabard is holding a microphone.

Once all the activities were completed The PROACTIVE and eNOTICE exercise directors coordinated a formal “End Exercise.” Official thanks, conclusions, and farewell messages were delivered by both exercise directors.

Three people in the front of photo are standing and discussing. One of them is in an army uniform explaining something. A man wearing an orange tabard is holding wheelchair. A woman in an orange tabard is standing with back to the photo.

Afterwards, volunteers, practitioners, observers and exercise organisers all came together for informal chats

Two persons: a woman in orange tabard and man in a military uniform are standing and looking each other and smiling.

Informal conversations continue in this photo.

A group of around 60 people is posing for a group photo outside.

At the end of a long day, everyone gathered for a group photo. PROACTIVE would like to thank once again the volunteers and observers who helped make this day a success!

A special thanks goes to NBC School, A.S.M. Rieti (STO), Caritas, Save the Children (Italy) and UNITOV. We would like to thank especially all volunteers of the exercise, who despite the bad weather on the day of the exercise came in large numbers. Without them, the successful exercise would not have been possible.