A paper by Chaim Rafalowski, Disaster Management and EU Projects Coordinator, Magen David Adom, Israel

Managing a large scale chemical incident is a complex task that presents many challenges to decision makers in the emergency services. These types of events usually require critical decision making at all levels of command. In order to perfect and test the decision making process of the responders training has been traditionally provided using live exercises with a great expense.
Table top exercises using simulation and serious gaming could provide a wider range of training at a lower expense and can provide a common training experience to these groups. One of the most difficult tasks training officers face when preparing table top exercises is presenting the participants with the consequences of their decisions in an objective manner. By receiving clear outputs of their decisions, participants are forced to reassess the situation and take a new set of decisions, in order to meet their objectives.

The CRISMA project (CRISMA is funded from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no. 284552) is developing tools for crises response to events with immediate, extensive, and often irreversible consequences to the population and society. The purpose of the CRISMA project is to use modelling and simulation technologies for evaluating the impacts of the measures taken on hypothetical (i.e. training and planning) scenarios, which can result in massive damage and that require co-operation among various authorities and private parties, including trans-boundary cooperation. The aim is to provide crisis-management decision-makers with tools to evaluate and assess their response plans.

Pilot C in the frame of CRISMA project deals with the accidental dispersal of a toxic gas (Bromine) over a port city. In order to calculate the “results” of the response the following components have been developed – 1) calculation of arrival time of resources to the scene, 2) calculation of the deterioration in patient’s health status over time based on levels of intoxication, age and prior health condition, 3) calculation of the impact of the interaction between the resource and the patient. The results are presented both as a “new world state” for the participant to act upon, as well as in a set of indicators. CRISMA tools allow the participant to “go back in time” to her / his decision points and initiate a new set of decisions, that can later compared to different sets of decisions. By allowing a dynamic evolution of the situation on the scene, based on the response activities, while the results of the response are dictated by a clear, replicable set of rules, CRISMA tools create a new environment for table top (training and planning exercises), where the participants are faced with “results” of the decisions they have taken, and can compare the results of different sets of decisions.

Please access the Full Paper by clicking on the following link: Rafalowski – NCT CBRNe USA 2015

The Full Paper by Rafalowski will be presented during NCT CBRNe USA Innovation Stream, taking place from April 29 to May 1.

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