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 or call at +31 6 43911968

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