Police First Responders from Asia Get Ready to Confront Chemical Terrorism Emergencies

12 July 2016
Participants at the Advanced Training Course for Police First Responders from Asia, which was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 4-8 July 2016.A course participant is checked for contamination as part of the training exercise for first responders. If this were a real event, both participants would be in protective gear.

Participants at the Advanced Training Course for Police First Responders from Asia, which was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 4-8 July 2016. A course participant is checked for contamination as part of the training exercise for first responders. If this were a real event, both participants would be in protective gear.

Use of protective equipment and operational procedures dealing with chemical terrorism incidents was at the core of an advanced training course for police first responders from Asia, held by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Seoul, Republic of Korea (ROK), 4-8 July 2016.

“The threat of use of chemical weapons by non-state actors has generated a renewed interest in the OPCW’s capacity building programmes and coordination of emergency assistance to States Parties, as stipulated in Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Shahriar Khateri, OPCW Senior Assistance and Protection Officer, said in his opening remarks.

Article X of the Convention requires the OPCW and its member states to develop and maintain a state of readiness to provide timely, adequate and efficient assistance to States Parties requesting protection against the use or threat of use of chemical weapons.

The participants learned about protection, detection and decontamination procedures and devices to be applied during incidents involving chemical warfare agents. They also received information about personal protective equipment and first aid during chemical emergencies.

The training was co-organized by the Armed Forces’ Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence Command of ROK, and was attended by 17 participants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Republic of Korea, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

It was the second of a three-part training for police first responders in Asia, inaugurated with a basic course in Kuala Lumpur (28 September – 2 October 2015). The Seoul attendees will gain further skills during a field exercise on emergency response to chemical incidents, scheduled to take place in Malaysia in October 2016.

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