Thursday, April 20, 2017

IMPRESS validated in a cross border Table Top Exercise

The final IMPRESS system was tested and validated at a Table Top Exercise (TTX), that was successfully conducted in Sofia, Bulgaria on 16th of March 2017. The exercise was organized by IICT-BAS, KEMEA, EKEPY and INTRASOFT and hosted by NATO CMDR Center of Excellence in Shipka Hotel, Sofia. IMPRESS system was operated by Greek and Bulgarian operators-stakeholders from public services and hospitals from both countries, following a one day hands-on training session that took place on March 15, 2017.

The scenario of the exercise concerned a combination of heavy rainfall and a strong earthquake that stroke Southern Bulgaria. As a result, extended damages to buildings and infrastructures along with a landslide damaging the roadside pavement in Strimon River and overflow of the river over part of the E79 Highway, were recorded. These incidents were coupled by multiple car accidents due to rockfalls along the respective segment of the E79 near the Greek-Bulgarian border. All the above caused a large number of fatalities and injuries requiring immediate response, pre-hospital medical intervention and transportation of casualties to nearby hospitals. Since transportation of victims via the damaged E79 connecting the southern part of Bulgaria with the rest of the country, the Bulgarian authorities requested international medical assistance, activating standard procedures via the European Emergency Response Centre (EERC) in Brussels.

IMPRESS system components have been used in different configurations aiming to simulate field data gathering from multiple incident scenes and prove the capability of the system to strengthen coordination between the response organizations and the involved emergency medical services, including the international support request, as well as to provide effective decision support for victims dispatch to hospitals and optimal use of available resources.
For the needs of the table top exercise, the scenario was executed using two separate IMPRESS System deployments for all participating Agencies and stakeholders from each country in two adjacent rooms, simulating the response activities in the Greek and Bulgarian operational realm.
The following organizations actively participated and operated the IMPRESS tools in the GB TTX:
Bulgarian stakeholders and actors
The Regional Emergency Medical Center of Blagoevgrad, the Emergency Departments of the Hospital of Sandanski and Petrich, the EMS branch of the Blagoevgrad Hospital Unit located in Kresna and the Bulgarian Red Cross headquarter in Sofia as well as representatives of organizations of the Ministry of Interior.
Greek stakeholders and actors
National Center for Health Operations (EKEPY) under Ministry of Health; General Secretariat of Civil Protection; National Emergency Center (EKAV) both Athens HQ and Northern Greece Branch; Hellenic Center for Disease Control & Prevention (KELPNO); General Secretariat of Civil Protection (GSCP); two large hospitals in Thessaloniki (“Papanikolaou” General Hospital and “Ippokratio” General Hospital) along with the General Hospital of Serres (backup hospital).
Observers of the TTX
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Ministry of Health; Bulgarian Ministry of Interior; NATO CMDR Officers.
Greece: Ministry of Health; Post-Graduate Program on “Health Crises”, Athens Medical School; Athens Assistance Medical Air Transport Co.
Italy: Italian Civil Protection – Palermo, Sicily.

For more information are available in IMPRESS website.

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