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10 years EU MODEX: For Worldwide Missions as Team Players

Berlin, 25 March 2021

For several years, Johanniter and its partners have been leading the EU MODEX (Module Exercises) for medical + USAR modules of the European Union. During the civil protection exercises, European rescue forces train together to help quickly and effectively in the event of a disaster. Volunteer emergency responders and Johanniter specialists regularly take part in these exercises. The experience gained in these exercises pays off in real operations around the world.

October 2017 was a milestone for Johanniter. The second EU MODEX exercise cycle, led by Johanniter, started in Liverpool. At the same time, a dedicated emergency response team participated as a module for emergency medical assistance. Only shortly before, the team was classified as an Emergency Medical Team by the World Health Organisation. Liverpool was thus the first international exercise under new conditions.

"For me, MODEX was a great experience at the time. Although you only knew some of the team members from previous missions and exercises, it was still a feeling of family again within a very short time," remembers doctor Cornelia Lindlohr-Saad, MD. She has already been on several real emergency aid missions. During the 48-hour exercise in the middle of Liverpool, Johanniter worked hand in hand with search and rescue teams from Italy, France and Iceland. An earthquake scenario was trained.

The aim of a MODEX is to practice self-sufficiency, cooperation and coordination of operations. "Team cohesion and interdisciplinary assistance is an enormously important factor," emphasises Philipp Lautner, who was also present in Liverpool in his capacity as an emergency paramedic.

The EU MODEX and later real missions like the one after Cyclone Idai in Mozambique showed me that the team constellation is enormously important.
Philipp Lautner

The team concept and mutual support in disasters are a foundation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which was launched in 2001 and has facilitated EU MODEX since 2010. It includes civil protection authorities and organisations from 33 European states. They make their relief capacities available through modules and can be deployed worldwide if needed.

"Especially now, during the Corona pandemic, it becomes clear how quickly disaster scenarios and challenges to relief organisations can change," says Jörg Lüssem, Member of the Federal Board of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe. "The series of exercises within the EU MODEX are therefore enormously valuable in order to develop together and to use these skills in Europe and worldwide. We therefore congratulate very warmly on the 10th anniversary and look forward to hopefully more successful exercises in the years to come."

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