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  • Dispatching of a Japanese Red Cross hospital physician to a training program for nuclear and radiological preparedness organized by the Italian Red Cross

Dispatching of a Japanese Red Cross hospital physician to a training program for nuclear and radiological preparedness organized by the Italian Red Cross

2015/08/05


Dr. Endo (left) shaking hands
with one of the participants

Dr. Endo (left) shaking hands with one of the participants

From June 23 to 27, 2015, “CBRN* International Summer School: Basic Course -Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Preparedness-” was held in Italy. The Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) dispatched Dr. Kiyoshi Endo, the Department Director of Neurosurgery of the Japanese Red Cross Mito Hospital, to the program. He has been assigned as a radiation emergency medical care advisor by the JRCS.

This program aimed to enhance the efforts of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Societies engaged in rehabilitation and resilience of areas affected by nuclear disasters and to strengthen their radiation protection capacities. About 20 disaster coordinators from the RCRC Societies participated in the program.


Hands-on exercise with protective gear

Hands-on exercise with protective gear

The venue for the first half of the program was the ENEA (the name for the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) which is a CBRN research institute of Italy. The participants there learned more knowledge about: biological and chemical weapons; radiation; the history of nuclear disaster response and preparedness; and recent CBRN cases. In the second half of the program, hands-on exercises were provided for at CORPO MILITARE, a training site of the Italian Red Cross (RC). This facility has similar types of equipment, materials and vehicles to those which medical units of armed forces are using. The equipment and materials for CBRN that the facility has are protective gear and masks, etc., corresponding to each disaster scale, level and category. In case of disasters or emergencies, their trained relief teams are ready to mobilize 24 hours a day.

After he finished the program, Dr. Endo looked back at it and said: “The training there was similar to the JRCS’s disaster relief training. However, the Italian RC’s preparedness and response are very different than those of the JRCS because Italy is located close to countries where a conflict and a terror often happen. The Italian RC closely cooperates with the military, police and fire forces as well.”


Training participants from the RCRC Societies
(CORPO MILITARE, a training site of the Italian RC)

Training participants from the RCRC Societies
(CORPO MILITARE, a training site of the Italian RC)

During the summer school, the Italian RC, the organizer of the program, repeatedly mentioned the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident (Fukushima Daiichi accident) and the subsequent situation, and also stressed the importance of nuclear disaster preparedness, continued exercise, special education, information sharing with the public and raising public awareness in order to respond to possible nuclear disasters in the future.

The JRCS has enacted the “Nuclear Disaster Guidelines for Preparedness, Response and Recovery” based on the reflections of what it experienced soon after the Fukushima Daiichi accident occurred. Following the descriptions in the guidelines, the radiation emergency medical care advisors were assigned and the “Nuclear Disaster Response Basic Training Session” has been provided for JRCS relief team members across Japan. The JRCS will continue to actively take part in training sessions and exercises which the RCRC Societies organize, share information, and enhance knowledge and skills to respond to nuclear disasters. The JRCS also hopes to utilize the knowhow that those Societies have and the latest information for its training in Japan.

(* chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear)