Best practices in the CBRN First Responders Training

The CBRN incidents pose a huge threat to people and the environment. Also, they pose an extraordinary challenge to all services involved in rescue operations. With regard to reactions to incidents, CBRN First Responders will always be in the first line; they will have to carry out complex activities being exposed to CBRN agents. In face of unpredictability of such events, it is a difficult task to prepare personnel for taking a prompt countermeasures. An additional difficulty is caused by stress related to rescuing the casualties who are inside a danger zone and need immediate help. One of the ways to prepare for this type of activity is a properly prepared training program that would comprehensively shape the competences of the CBRN First Responders. The doctrinal document in this area is the CBRN Defense Standards for Education, Training and Evaluation, ATP-3.8.1 Volume III. Although the document refers to training standards in NATO, it is a valuable source of knowledge, inspirations, and solutions for the CBRN First Responders training design.

For several years, works have been carried out on the development of training standards for civil services. So far there are no unified systemic solutions and most of the countries have their own standards. The document which is used for this purpose was developed by NATO Civil Emergency Planning and is entitled: Project on Minimum Standards and Non-Binding Guidelines for First Responders Regarding Planning, Training, Procedure and Equipment for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Incidents, The International CBRN Training. It still has the status of a project. More information at: