Seventeen first responders from all over the world enhanced their skills for sampling and analysis in a highly contaminated environment during a training run by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), held from 6 to 11 June 2016 in Częstochowa, Poland. This expertise is indispensable for the successful handling of toxic chemical incidents.
“Poland is committed to continued cooperation with the OPCW to achieve our shared goal of a world free of chemical weapons,” stated Mr Marcin Kawałowski in his opening statement. Mr Kawałowski is from the Department of Security Policy of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which serves as the Polish National Authority to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Commander Jacek Kleszczewski, Director of the Polish Central School of the State Fire Service in Częstochowa, highlighted the long-established partnership between the School and the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat. He also remarked, “We hope that all States Parties will continue benefiting from this specialised training in the future.”
Participants built on previous knowledge about various methods of sampling and analysis of chemical and biological substances. Expertise in this is crucial to obtaining and preserving evidence during incidents involving chemical warfare agents or toxic industrial chemicals.
The attendees came from 17 States Parties to the CWC: Algeria, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, France, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Panama, Poland, Romania, Spain and Uganda.
This training marks five years of fruitful cooperation among the OPCW, Poland’s Central School of the State Fire Service and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the contribution from the Polish Army, and the Firefighter Corps of the city of Katowice, Poland