RESPOND-A First Training Session

RESPOND-A First Training session was successfully held online the 10th and 11th of December 2020 under a virtual environment due to COVID-19 restrictions. A total of 69 attendees participated in the presentations, exercises and discussions. The first training session was focused on addressing maritime accidents in coastal and port areas by using RESPOND-A novel technologies adapted to port and maritime authorities protection plans. Two separated incidents were tackled: The first incident was a crash of two trucks in the port area close to Valencia city producing a fire and releasing toxic gases in the affected area. This accident provokes the emanation of toxic gases that force the evacuation of the inhabitants of the surrounding neighborhoods. It also considers the usage of robots to support in the rescue and evacuation of people in danger. Both, technical providers and First Responders organisations followed the table top exercise conducted by SIDROCO, were some key questions in regards to the incident management and the usage of the different tools were put on the table. Technologies to address the situation were the Tag&Trace injured people triage system (PROMETECH), TALENT software to enhance the incident coordination (I2CAT) and the DRONSTER, a robot to remotely visualize the area, detect toxic gases as well as help First Responder to evacuate injured people (VALLFIREST). The second day had a similar structure. After hearing hte presentation of the user story and the technologies, the table top exercise started. It was focused on an oil spill accident that occurs in the neighboring coast of the port from a vessel that crashes with port’s breakwater. This scenario includes the usage of tailored technologies to improve the response capacity under a safe environment, increase the situational awareness during the accident, to support the evacuation of coast from bathers and monitoring vital and stress signals of FR. Technologies to address the situation were a private 4G/5G mobile network to ensure First Responders communication in a devastated area (ATHONET) as well as the SUMMIT-XL robot able to deploy all the necessary equipment in the damaged area (ROBOTNIK). After performing both exercises, a discussion session to improve the coming trainings and the training methodology under COVID-19 restrictions was done. The main conclusions were: Group trainings are better than individual trainings. However, to ensure an active participation of all FR organizations, individual trainings will be considered. It is important to distribute training materials in advanced, particularly among first responders. The reason is that it is not easy to develop a discussion-based exercise without the opportunity to prepare the answers in advanced. Field trainings are needed as soon as the restrictions allow us to do so. To increase the quality of trainings as well as generating new training methods under safe environments we need: serious games, simulations and table-top exercises. Since FR need to learn the specific usage of each technology, there is the possibility to organize webinars sessions before the training session with the objective of presenting the new technologies.