Ms Irene-Maria Eich and Dr Jochen Rehrl, both training managers at the ESDC secretariat and responsible for activities outside the European Union, took part in the two-day training. Following lectures dealing with the theoretical side of the topics, the participants were confronted with real-life situations including carjacking, terrorist attacks, robbery, corruption and car accidents.
During the first aid training, the participants were instructed in how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies including heart attacks or near-drowning incidents, and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). The training also touched on the management of major bleeding.
Stress management and dealing with aggression were the most demanding learning objectives. The trainers and also some of the participants illustrated the need for this training by sharing their past experiences in the field.
The training and exercises took place at Campus Vesta in Ranst, a training area south of Antwerp for police and firefighters. The 37-hectare site is a former UK military base. The weather was suitable for the hostile environment training, with snow, rain, hail and temperatures of around 0° C.