The PROACTIVE (PReparedness against CBRNE threats through cOmmon Approaches between security praCTItioners and the VulnerablE civil society) project, funded by EU Horizon 2020, has recently achieved a number of important milestones.
The project group held its first progress meeting, General Assembly and Executive Board meeting on 17 and 18 September at UIC headquarters in Paris. The technical work packages are progressing well with promising outcomes foreseen for the railway business. The first scientific results are expected in December this year with the publication of two systematic reviews on CBRNe preparedness and response to CBRNe attacks. The reviews will focus on public perception and responses to such attacks, as well as current mitigation and management policies, and will provide recommendations on how rail stakeholders can better cooperate with security practitioners such as law enforcement agencies and highly trained CBRNe first responders at national level.
The PROACTIVE team accepted an invitation to attend the 14th Community of Users (CoU) meeting held on 19 September in Brussels. Grigore Havarneanu presented the project at the Citizen Awareness Workshop, outlining how PROACTIVE is planning to study and improve the preparedness of civil society - particularly vulnerable groups - for CBRNe threats through public engagement. Laura Petersen participated in a round table on citizen science and citizen involvement in research activities, and shared the PROACTIVE approach in this respect with the group. PROACTIVE will help rail stakeholders to interact more effectively with members of the public, including vulnerable groups such as passengers with reduced mobility, during CBRNe incidents.
The CoU meeting was followed by a joint field exercise organised as part of the EU eNOTICE project in Dortmund on 21 September, with PROACTIVE invited to join as an observer. The exercise was the result of cooperation between the Dortmund Firefighters and Deutsche Bahn. The exercise simulated a passenger and freight rail collision, followed by a CBRNe incident caused by leakage of an unknown chemical substance. Cooperative response actions were deployed, including first emergency response on the site, decontamination and medical assistance to the injured, and rapid analysis of the contaminating agent.
The exercise allowed PROACTIVE to identify key future challenges for railways, which will be addressed further within the scope of our project. Plans are underway to run another multidisciplinary joint exercise between the PROACTIVE and eNOTICE projects in April 2021.
The PROACTIVE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 832981.