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Research project MELODY is a response to the European Union’s CBRN action plan, which emphasizes the member state’s responsibility to provide aid to all victims of CBRN incidents. The project seeks to develop a harmonized CBRN training curriculum for first responders and medical staff across the European Union.

The goal of the project is to define, develop and deploy a CBRN training curriculum based on current needs and deficiencies, as experienced and expressed by first responders and medical staff. The principal idea is that a consolidated effort to prepare first responders for CBRN incidents will enhance efficiency, cross-border cooperation, and overall preparedness against CBRN threats across the union. The project consists of ten partners from nine countries and is led by Dr. Carlos Rojas Palma, SCK•CEN, Belgium.

Project overview

Project period:

2018-10-31 2022-12-31


Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME)

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

European CBRNE Centre, Humlab, Unit of Police Work

Project description

The 2017 CBRN action plan, released by the European Commission, states that while terrorist groups have yet to use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents in attacks in Europe, there are credible indicators suggesting they might. In the event terrorist groups are preparing to attack with CBRN agents, it is imperative that first responders are prepared as well, and that their needs are considered as the training curriculum is developed. Also addressed in the CBRN action plan is the fact that “the need for strengthening EU cooperation and for reinforcing resilience against CBRN threats in terms of prevention, preparedness and response, requires significant investments on the part of Member States” and the call for closer cooperation and utilization of synergies across borders. MELODY will address these needs by creating a harmonized CBRN training curriculum for first responders, which can be implemented across the EU, thus improving cooperation and joint resilience.

While CBRN training tends to be scarce and limited among most first responders across EU member states, training approaches and procedures also varies significantly between countries. MELODY will consider this, along with the differences in training needs ranging from ground level staff to officers in command and control functions. Additionally, information and skills acquired in training need to be kept alive to serve its purpose, the training materials will therefore be adapted for different types of training required for different functions and the training tools will facilitate repeated trainings.

The specific objectives of MELODY include:

  • An exhaustive inventory of existing CBRN training curricula for first responders and medical staff in the EU
  • Consultation with practitioners at all levels regarding existing curricula
  • Identifying differences between existing curricula and the current needs of end users
  • Promote harmonization of preparedness and response to CBRN incidents across the EU and foster cross-border cooperation through a joint training program
  • Develop a training program to be tested and used in a number of member states
  • Foster cross-sector cooperation through multi-agency training
  • Ensure end-users’ perspectives and needs are considered in the development of the training materials

At the end of the three-year project, it is expected that a complete, fit-for-purpose and quality assured and controlled CBRN training curriculum will be delivered. MELODY’s success will be measured by indicators such as.

  • The measured quality of the training programs
  • The measured use of training tools and facilities
  • The adoption of the proposed curriculum by EU member states
Latest update: 2022-09-01