CBRN threats can be difficult to detect and attribute; their effective prevention and countering requires vigilance on the part of different stakeholder communities both within and outside the security domain. Building trust-based relationships across sectors is an incremental process which makes engagement and interaction among different professionals key factors for the sustainability of implemented policies and measures and resultant outcomes.

This publication is intended to support training activities for first responders in the field of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) security risk prevention and mitigation. For the purposes of this guide, first responders include police, emergency health services, fire brigades, as well as staff at hospitals and crisis management departments and units, and staff involved in risk assessment and early warning, both at operational and policy levels. The guide highlights the context and complexity of CBRN threats, in order to facilitate consideration of possible approaches, measures, and tools that could be leveraged for developing appropriate response frameworks that promote security innovation and can help build resilience. The guide includes five thematic scenario-based exercises that examine the following CBRN threats:

(1) Attack involving the use of a ‘dirty bomb’.

(2) Attack using illicit online marketplaces to acquire toxic substances.

(3) Attack during the transport of hazardous materials.

(4) Attack in an indoor public space.

(5) Hoax attack.

Due to the sensitivity of the information this Guide was developed for exclusive distribution and use by relevant professionals and entities. For more information about the Guide including to request a copy, please contact us here. The Guide is available in electronic format in English, Bulgarian, Germany, Greek, and Spanish.

The Training Guide was piloted during a series of national training workshops that took place between February and October 2022. Four workshops took place (one in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece and Spain, respectively) bringing together a total of over 80 first responders and representatives of civil society, including academia. The workshops provided an invaluable opportunity to collect feedback on the Training Guide concept from stakeholders and end-users and ensure that the final product corresponds to the needs of relevant professional communities.