International inspiration to improve fighting terrorism

Credits Smarteu

How to better prepare the police to deal with extreme violence or terrorism? Frank B. of the Dutch National Police was given that assignment. Where to start developing a state-of-the-art program?

As Frank explains I was asked to develop a training for the Police to deal with extreme violence. In 2017 I received an invitation to join the EFRIM meeting at the Fire Service College in the UK. The theme was “interoperability and counter terrorism”.

EFRIM is a peer to peer platform for innovation managers of first responders in Europe. They articulate the needs, initiate projects, share knowledge, voice the needs in Brussels and build bridges to academia and industry. Their goal is to better facilitate the men and women in the street to do their jobs in a better way.

As he continues: I didn’t know exactly what to expect but found an international group of intrinsically motivated first responders that shared knowledge, ideas and experiences. The group consisted of first responders from Police, Fire Service and Ambulance services coming from Spain, France, UK, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands.

The great thing was there were people who had the insights of the incidents in France, the UK and Belgium. They didn’t only give information what happened but draw a picture how to better prepare for what could come.

The key takeaway was that my training should be a multi-disciplinary training. As first responders we tend to look at the world through the lenses of our own organization. Focus is always a good thing but before, during and after an incident we are not the only organization to deal with the incident. We need representatives of other disciplines and quite frankly, we don’t know them that well.

Yes, we work with them but the language they use is sometimes different then we use, the way they operate is different, even the color of their vests means other things we would think they are.

So, my colleagues and I wanted to have training that would stress test the way our men and women on the street deal with the incident in a way that captures the best of all organizations. My colleagues and I put a multi-agency training program together dealing with several terrorist attack scenarios. After an half year of training we are so fortunate to have trained 2137 colleagues from Police, Fire Service and Ambulance Service to better work with each other.

If you are interested in how we did that and which lessons we learned from that, please visit the EFRIM meeting which will be organized at October 16thin Brussels.

First responders can make a reservation or ask for more information via info@efrim.org or call at +31 6 43911968

International crisis management, how to evaluate the quality of interoperability?

Climate change and terrorist threats render an increasingly complexity in safety operations. In this way, appointed first responders have to manage a wide stakeholders community and have to be more efficient in this changing world. The different services and agencies, have to work together and to be effective to deal with the large incidents, trying to reproduce the level of interoperability they have reached during the daily routine operations.

As incidents become more and more complex, technology develops in an increasing pace and the wish for standardization holds higher standards for the civilian first responders, cooperation between Police, Fire Service and Ambulance services becomes even more a pressing issue.

Jean Paul Monet is Senior officer (LTC) of French Fire and EM service. Together with his colleagues he developed a methodology to measure the cooperation amongst first responder organizations. Moreover he did a study on interoperability on a national and international level.

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During the 7th EFRIM meeting Mr. Monet will give a presentation about how first responder organizations can improve the communication with each other, understand each other and can develop an approach to improve their cooperation.

On October 16th EFRIM will organize this 7th EFRIM meeting with a focus on interoperability and building the EFRIM platform.

EFRIM is a European initiative to articulate the needs of the first responders in Europe, share knowledge amongst first responders, initiate (European) innovation projects and voice the needs of the Police, Fire Service and Paramedics to the (European) government. EFRIM is run by first responders for first responders and we strive to improve safety and security in Europe.

For more information and reservation please contact info@efrim.org or call at +31 6 43911968

 

Safe the dates: October 15th and October 16th 2019

In its capacity as Chair of the International Forum to Advance First Responder Innovation (IFAFRI), the European Commission is happy to invite participants for this years’ “IFAFRI Industry Day“.
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The location of the Industry Day is: Rue du Champ de Mars 21, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.

IFAFRI has invited EFRIM to present their activities during this day.

On October 16th EFRIM will organize the 7th EFRIM meeting. We will focus on interoperability and building the EFRIM platform.

EFRIM is a European initiative to articulate the needs of the first responders in Europe, share knowledge amongst first responders, initiate (European) innovation projects and voice the needs of the Police, Fire Service and Paramedics to the (European) government. EFRIM is run by first responders for first responders and we strive to improve safety and security in Europe.

Information and reservation:
For more information and reservation please contact info@efrim.org or call at +31 6 43911968

European interoperability questionnaire 

InteroperabilitycontinuumDear Sir, Madame,

We would like to invite European first responders to participate in a 100% practitioners interoperability questionnaire.

About interoperability
The cooperation between the first responder organizations is referred to as interoperability. It is at moments of crisis that the true barriers between the tri services come to the surface: the lack of interoperable communication systems, different terminology and language and failure to properly co-ordinate across the services can significantly hinder the effectiveness of the response and actually exasperate the situation to the detriment of both the public caught up in the incident and those responding.

What?
EFRIM sends out a questionnaire to European first responders like you. Please request the link at m.poppink@efrim.org. Filling it in will take about 20 minutes. Due to its practical use the questionnaire is based on the Interoperability continuum of DHS and the JESIP questionnaire. Other models and suggestions are welcomed. EFRIM will not use your personal data and only share the general outcome with the first responder who filled in this questionnaire. Multiple colleagues of one organization can fill it in. Please forward it to your colleagues.

Why participating?
Filling in this questionnaire might help you to get a feeling for the interoperability in your country. The outcome allows you to benchmark your current situation with other countries in Europe. Moreover it gives an indication what road is in front of you and what is already accomplished. The general outcome will be presented to the relevant (EU) stakeholders.

Who?
During the 5th EFRIM meeting first responders from the UK, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands showed interest in doing this research. Together with the Police Academy of Lisbon Portugal and the Municipality of Geel(BE) this questionnaire is send to the EFRIM network.

About EFRIM
EFRIM strives to improve the safety of Europe improving interoperability of the first responders/emergency services by understanding how we can deal with common challenges faced by our organizations. By providing a platform for the all services to connect with each other, sharing knowledge, exploring how resources can be coordinated and formulating common goals, EFRIM can help voice common needs to national and European policy makers to synchronize the approach taken and maximize the support available. For more information please mail at m.poppink@efrim.org.

Kind regards
Michiel Poppink
+31 6 43 91 19 68

OUTCOME EFRIM 6 MEETING “INTEROPERABILITY AND FIGHTING TERRORISM?”

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Dear Sir, Madam,

Please find the outcome of the EFRIM meeting. Due to the sensitivity of the subject, we opted to write  generic minutes.

Introduction:
The recent EFRIM meeting at the Fire Service College (FSC) highlighted the need to develop closer working relationships across Europe in the field of Counter Terrorism (CT); the threat from terrorist activity is assessed to be enduring but remaining sporadic with attacks possible in any country, at any time and against our most vulnerable targets. So far in 2017 there have been 26 major incidents in 10 different countries involving Marauding Terrorism and IEDs with over 100 european citizens killed and a further 900+ injured. This situation is unlikely to change in the immediate or medium-term future.
This creates a situation that makes development of effective capability difficult due to the geographical spread of attacks and the ability for all services across the region to share vital knowledge and experience gained from specific operations. Many European political leaders have stated that terrorism is now a feature of modern society and we need to learn how to live with it. It was therefore concluded that the pace of emergency services capability development has to be in line with the evolution and frequency of terrorism if there is to be any improvement of emergency service response and an assurance to the public that more lives can be saved.
Presentations were delivered from a wide variety of emergency services and respective nations, this included:
Policing CT issues – France, Spain and UK;
Fire & Rescue CT issues – Netherlands;
Medical CT issues – Belgium;
Crowd behaviour during terrorist attacks research – Ireland;
Multi-agency interoperability CT training – UK.

Requirement:
The above presentations highlighted that there are many national single-service CT programs being developed across Europe which share many common features but which often lack the benefit of another nation’s operational experiences. European emergency services still tend to train in isolation to each other, especially between specialist CT units and their partner agencies. This practice is often acceptable for most conventional incidents where time and conditions permit the use of standard operating procedures but terrorist attacks demand an immediate and well-co-ordinated multi-agency response to an unknown hazard and non-permissive situation.
The key elements discussed and agreed upon by those attending during EFRIM 6 were:

  • Need for improved situational awareness on CT issues;
Need for effective multi-agency interoperability;
  • Need for CT specialist teams or personnel within all emergency services; and
  • Need to develop more resilient communities.
There are many commercially-driven projects and products being promoted by various actors for their financial gain or for a specific capability requirement.  Most of these projects do not satisfy all emergency service needs and many are often too expensive to be adopted immediately due to their scope or lack of development. As a result, critical information and practical skills are not being shared widely enough or within an acceptable timeframe across Europe to be of any value to those responsible for providing emergency service support to their communities today.
It was also identified that CT information or capability is often deemed to be specialist in nature, often classified as a national secret and is not shared well across Europe or even with the remainder of a nation’s emergency services community. CT capability is ultimately focussed on saving lives and therefore it has to be more holistic in its approach; there is a role for the military to support the emergency services, there is also a role for the private sector to support the emergency services and also to include our communities within the scope of CT capacity.
The critical elements identified for effective multi-agency CT operations are available as open-source information, as simple concepts that are easy to adapt or as cheap “on the shelf” equipment that is generally not well known outside of a given nation or service.

Proposal

It is proposed to create a Special Interest Group within the EFRIM community to enable the rapid exchange of information, a collaborative platform for research and mutual aid for the provision of training. This could be delivered as a virtual Centre of Excellence to ensure that the responsibility for hosting is shared between EFRIM members and that costs are kept to a minimum for all.
Deliverables are proposed to be as follows:
  • Academic research into subjects identified by EFRIM;
  • Conduct of R&D on new technology; and,
  • Provision of practical workshops to develop critical skills or share best practices/research.
Delivery of the above will require a small level of start-up funding, it is suggested that the EC or H2020 is invited to support this initiative but failing this then a single agency approach is potentially the best option for EFRIM’s short term development needs. The conduct of the above functions will generate income downstream as manufacturers desire EFRIM engagement and endorsement for their products, research grants are applied for and participants attending training workshops self-fund their activities.

Summary:
EFRIM is still developing its reputation and influence within the European emergency services sector, CT provides an opportunity for it to provide an effective solution to a common problem which will have an immediate impact on the ability to save lives. CT capability has to be for the inclusion of all services not just the critical specialists who have to confront the terrorists directly.
A minimum of one agency is required to provide a coordinating role for EFRIM members and its partners to create a Special Interest Group (SIG) that can deliver the above proposal. FSC is willing to be the first coordinator for a CT SIG should this be acceptable to the EFRIM community.

Kind regards
Peter Oakley and Hans Versnel
EFRIM

“INTEROPERABILITY AND FIGHTING TERRORISM?”

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Dear Sir, Madam,

The 6th European First Innovation Managers exchange of experts will take place on November 28th and 29th at a place in the United Kingdom(ask for details). Please find below the updated agenda for this workshop.

Hope to welcome you at this EFRIM exchange of experts in the UK.

Kind regards

The EFRIM team

Agenda day 1
Time
November 28th 2017
Before 12.00 Arrivals and check into accommodation
12.00 – 12.30 Lunch in restaurant
12.45 – 13.30 Arrival brief and welcome to FSC by Peter Oakley
13.35 – 14.15 Crowd behavior during terrorist attacks research by Maynooth University
14.20 – 15.00 Multi-agency CT training by Dan Tiller
15.00 – 15.30 Coffee break and networking
15.30 – 16.10 Operational issues during Paris incidents in 2015/2016 – by French Response Unit
16.15 – 17.00 Interoperability for CT operations by French Police
17.00 – 17.15 Coffee break
17.00 – 18.00 Operational issues during Belgium incidents by Belgium Paramedic
18.05 – 18.45              Spanish CT incidents by Spanish Police
19.00 – 19.30 Pre-dinner reception drinks and industry stands
19.30 – Dinner
Agenda day 2
Time
November 29th
08.30 – 09.15 Interoperability projects in EU
09.20 – 10.00 Discussion groups
10.00 – 10.30 Coffee break and networking
10.30 – 11.30 Multi-agency training demonstrations – Bonnet ex format, MOSAIC, SF Booster and C-UAV
11.35 – 12.00 Plenary by Michiel Poppink
12.05 – 12.30 1205 – 1230hrs – Conclusions and EFRIM summary
For more information and reservation until November 20th, please contact info@efrim.org.
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SAFE THE DATE FOR THE 6TH EFRIM MEETING “INTEROPERABILITY AND FIGHTING TERRORISM?”

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Dear Sir/Madam,

The EFRIM team up with The Fire Service College to organize the 6th European First Responder Innovation Managers forum to be held in the UK on November 28th and 29th 2017.

Interoperability and fighting terrorism
What can we learn from the London terrorist attack? What can we learn from the Paris attack? How can we improve the interoperability amongst our European first responder organizations?

In a two day exchange of experts meeting you will get first hand feed back from French and English special response teams about what happened during and after the terror attacks. Based on that information the group of European first responders will discuss how we could develop SOP’s, governance, training, usage and technology which will help us to create a well coordinated approach which will help to save lives.

The cooperation between the first responder organizations is referred to as interoperability. It is at moments of crisis that the true barriers between the tri services come to the surface: the lack of interoperable communication systems, different terminology and language and failure to properly co-ordinate across the services can significantly hinder the effectiveness of the response and actually exasperate the situation to the detriment of both the public caught up in the incident and those responding.

Based on the outcome of this meeting a white paper will be written to be discussed with stakeholders and might be input for proposals of H2020 grants in 2018.

Who should attend?
This is a strategic level forum appropriate for senior managers from emergency response organizations who hold responsibility for, and have experience of, managing innovation.
EFRIM strives to improve the safety of Europe improving interoperability of the first responders/emergency services by understanding how we can deal with common challenges faced by our organizations. By providing a platform for the all services to connect with each other, sharing knowledge, exploring how resources can be coordinated and formulating common goals, EFRIM can help voice common needs to national and European policy makers to synchronize the approach taken and maximize the support available.

To Book
If you would like to attend EFRIM6, please send the following details to info@efrim.org
Name
Job Title / Role
Name of Organization
Email Address
Places for existing members have already been allocated but limited additional places are available so book now to avoid disappointment. Other places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Catering during the event will be provided, please advise us if you have any specific access or dietary requirements.

On behalf of the EFRIM team,

Peter Oakley

The Fire Service College

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