Three JOIN members at the biggest EU Civil Protection exercise

Bucharest, Romania, 25. October 2018

All pictures by ModEx 2017/2018

The 2018 Modex Romania was the largest medical exercise ever conducted in the framework of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and took place in Bucharest from 12 to 18 October. The simulation mobilised over 2000 people and involved medical teams from Austria, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Norway and Israel, and experts from other countries participating in the Mechanism.

This was the fifth and final exercise this year conducted by a consortium of ten civil protection partners led by Johanniter Germany. Together with its partners our German JOIN member designed, placed, conducted and self-evaluated the exercise which simulated the following scenario:

A 7.5 scale earthquake hit Bucharest causing widespread damage to infrastructure, with a large number of wounded. National capacities are overwhelmed and Romania activates the EU Civil Protection Mechanism through which assistance from participating countries is channelled. Urban search and rescue and medical teams need to be set up as well as evacuation planes to bring wounded people to safe places in Romania and other EU Member States.

This exercise is a unique opportunity to assess the functioning of our Civil Protection Mechanism and the common European response to disasters. This Mechanism has proven its value on countless occasions, such as during the devastating forest fires in Southern and Northern Europe this summer. But there is always room for improvement of our capacities and coordination to save lives in Europe and around the world. This is why Modex is so useful and important for us,” said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

Under concrete field conditions, this simulation assessed the capacities of the medical teams and experts to coordinate between teams from different countries. Our Hungarian and Finish JOIN members mobilised their medical helpers and experts and contributed to the success of the exercise.

EU simulation exercises are designed to improve the operational cooperation in civil protection assistance. Contingency planning, decision-making procedures, communication to the public and the media in major emergencies can therefore be tested and it helps identifying further training needs and operational gaps. The participating countries pool the resources that are available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism coordinates the provision of assistance inside and outside the EU.