Mapping Emergency Responders’ Current Procedures in the Event of a CBRNe Incident

When a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or explosive (CBRNe) event occurs a time and safety critical environment instantly exists. In order for emergency services to most efficiently complete their primary task of saving lives it is essential to have effective and well-rehearsed procedures in place. This environment requires many different services to interact with one another including: Fire, Police, Health and Military personnel. Therefore, it is important that each service understand not only their role but also that of the other emergency services (JESIP, 2013). In such a scenario every second can make a difference, with tasks such as triaging, treating and decontaminating casualties all heavily reliant on a swift response. However, this has to be balanced with offering maximal health and safety conditions for the emergency service personnel (NARU, 2015). Emergency personnel from other geographical locations may also be recruited to provide further support, so having a nationally recognised standard procedure for each emergency service is essential to allow smooth interaction between regional emergency crews (NATO, 2014). By taking a Human Factors/ Ergonomics approach to the problem it is essential to first understand what is required of each actor in the system. There are many different methods that can be used to capture a system such as that described above. One example is an Accident Map (AcciMap) (Rasmussen, 1997) - this allows for the different layers in the system to be identified, the lines and methods of communication to be shown as well as any interactions within a system to be acknowledged. With this in mind the aim of a work package within the European Commission (EC) funded TOXI-Triage project (Toxi-Triage, 2016) was to establish procedures in the event of a CBRNe incident for different emergency service providers across a number of EU countries.