From 24th to 26th January 2024, the consortium of the TeamUP project held its Kick-off Meeting in Athens, Greece. Led by the Greek Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, around 50 participants met to discuss the implementation of the multidisciplinary project, which is supported by a Horizon Europe grant. The project will run from January 2024 until December 2026.
CBRN-E incidents and resulting casualties are a permanent threat across the continent. In past incidents, First Responders were often required to provide help without having conducted sufficient training on how to operate in CBRN-E incidents. Moreover, First Responders are seldom aware of the risks that CBRN-E material poses to their health. The management of a CBRN-E scene including the recovery of persons concerned requires standard operating procedures, advanced skills and suitable equipment. A step-by-step approach needs to include (1) detection of the CBRN-E threat, (2) triage of casualties and (3) on-site decontamination before the provision of medical aid.
In this frame, the TeamUP project will analyse how First Responders can meet operating requirements. It will then develop and test innovative technologies for the detection, identification, and monitoring of hazardous material, as well as for the monitoring of the health status of First Responders. Moreover, TeamUP will integrate tools for triage and decontamination. Next to the training and equipment of First Responders, TeamUP aims to raise awareness for CBRN-E incidents in the general public, making our societies more resilient. By bringing together experts from a broad range of disciplines and regions, the project will develop holistic products, accounting for the needs of end users.
After providing a comprehensive overview of the project structure, technical requirements, end-user needs as well as planned exercises were discussed at the Kick-off meeting. This allowed the partners to set forth the next steps to be taken in each working package and framed legal as well as ethical requirements. Finally, after what was perceived by all participants to be a successful start to the project, a workshop provided the opportunity to discuss details regarding the first exercise in Dortmund, Germany. The exercise is planned for April 2024 and will be hosted by the Fire Department of Dortmund.