Royal Navy medics have trained in dealing with the aftermath of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attacks with NATO allies in the Czech Republic.

According to the Royal Navy here, medical experts from 13 nations gathered in Tisá, close to the German border, to work together on treatments, decontamination and dealing with casualties in the wake of a CBRN attack.

“Across four days, personnel shared knowledge and dealt with mock casualties at the site of an old chemical and biological testing ground, while the Royal Navy and Royal Marines combined medical team laid on a demonstration of the techniques and procedures the UK employs. Commando Forward Surgical Group of North Devon-based Commando Logistic Regiment deploy wherever Royal Marines do, no matter how extreme the environment.

Their responsibility is to treat causalities in the field and, as a result, must be highly efficient at setting up medical treatment facilities at a moment’s notice. During the exercises in the Czech Republic, they were at the forefront of the joint casualty decontamination area, which must be set up rapidly to deal with people exposed to a CBRN attack, decontaminating them, and giving them basic medical treatment before passing them onto the next level of medical care.”

Marine George Blake, of Commando Logistic Regiment, was quoted as saying:

“With no previous experience as a team medic or experience with CBRN casualties, I can now happily say in confidence if anything were to unfortunately happen and the Royal Marines were called to assist again, we would know what to do without any issues. It was a great experience and very educational as the majority of us were able to get hands on with the casualties as they came through.

I was in the cutting team so we had to be careful with any tourniquets on limbs, shrapnel sticking out etc. It wasn’t always as easy as just cutting a straight line through the clothes, we had work in sync together and be able to work around the medics without getting into each other’s way and with no time wasted.”

You can read more here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
41 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
farouk
farouk
6 days ago

So on my cadre course, (Soltau ranges) it was my turn to lead the section and we are met by a member of the DS who tells us we have entered an area soaked in liquid nerve agent. Whereupon a guy (no NBC suit, no respirator) starts running around like a chicken with no head due to Nerve agent poisoning . I am told to proceed, So I shot him. The DS went up the wall and the officer in charge of the course threaten to RTU me.

Sean
Sean
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

So you shot the DS too? 😉

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

SOLTAU, how I don’t miss that place. I remember being on the road between Bergen and Honne (I think) and stopped for a RTA, picked up this Dutch guy who’s throat was cut from ear to ear by his seat belt I think. Never found out what happened to him but I think it was one of those things that looked worse than it actually was.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Farouk, that’s hilarious!

John Clark
John Clark
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

It was the kindest thing……😂😂

Andy P
Andy P
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

😂 How dare you go ‘off piste’ on an exercise Farouk, these exercises are so the staff can show how clever THEY are, not YOU. 😉

maurice10
maurice10
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Someone has been watching too much of, ‘The Great.’

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  farouk

That gets a Like!

Jonathans
Jonathans
6 days ago

I love the conveyor belt, thats brilliant. The NHS decontamination kit never had a conveyor belt…we were sort of expected to man handle the casualty through the process. Also I’m not sure about the sealing of that guy in the yellows kit….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Good point about the guy in yellow suit. Why is it yellow anyway?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

its so you cant tell when he is going jaundist and about to die

Jonathans
Jonathans
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

ooh that’s just reminded me of the time I was checking out my department to find a staff nurse has put a bright yellow blanket over a jaundice patient…I was like…were did that blanket come from….innocent looking butter would not melt In mouth staff nurse says….from the linen cupboard.. ask a stupid question get a stupid answer…

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
6 days ago

After Salisbury and COVID you’d think this would be very high up UK the governments list of needs improvement. Where’s the dedicated permanent CBRN units, deployable casualty decontamination tents, secure ambulances etc… Not all this should come out of the MOD’s pocket where’s the NHS/FIRE plans for a worst case scenario? The government wants the military to do everything it seems but doesn’t want to fund it

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
5 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Change of focus back from sandy places back to what we spent decades learning to do until the peace dividend took its evenly toll.

This is the sort of thing that needs a drill every few months so that team members can spot each other properly like the guy in the yellow suit not properly protected.

So it is great we are doing it but very worrying that this reveals that it hasn’t been thoroughly drilled for some years particularly since the Sarin attacks.

Jonathans
Jonathans
5 days ago

It’s interesting that they are using what looks to me like type 4 hazmat equipment ( us level C) without an encapsulated face plate. It’s not the best choice of equipment for casualty decontamination to be honest. Far better a fully encapsulated face plate and SCBA.

Jonathans
Jonathans
5 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

The NHS and fire service does all this as part of civil contingency, I known ive got all the qualifications and spend many happy a day wandering around in SCBA hazmat level A kit…changing each other’s respirator kits, sealing stuff practicing not falling up and down stairs, connecting water supply’s and blowing up our decontamination module and viciously scrubbing ( a lot of vicious scrubbing and hozzing with cold water goes on so never ever volunteer to be a casualty), all the while getting laughed at by patients and staff. But pretty much all Trauma centres ( that’s most hospitals… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Problem is there is a bit of a water shortage at the moment due to all the leaks, prodigious use by the general public and having the infrastructure in the UK for 20 million people, when in fact surprise surprise, there is nearly 70 million people living on this small island now. We cant do too much rigorous hosing down and decontamination.

Jonathans
Jonathans
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

well if there is a hosepipe ban it will be back to the watering cans.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Thank you for the informative answer, this is an aspect as Joe public we don’t get to see. This is where government need to publish there plans, the problem I see is there are too many agencies involved for a swift response in the avent of a disaster on a grand scale. We need an independent agency outside health and MOD just like the US to oversee our response plans and have everything in place. For example we no longer have an early warning system to warn against incoming nuclear attack (not that you’d want to know) that went with… Read more »

Jonathans
Jonathans
5 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Hi Fosterman Since one of my work passions is civil contingency and I’m a major incident/emergency control room manager your in luck…so ready for the how the U.K. Does things like floods, airliner crashes, pandemics, nuclear blasts and random snowmagedons. The basic building block of everything is the civil contingency act 2004. The first part describes the role of what’s call Cat one and Cat Two responders these are the agencies who will prevent deaths if poss and try and put humpty together again ( there has been a few minor changes since 2004, mainly around the big structure changes… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Thank you it’s nice to know that some for of disaster preparedness is taken seriously, especially as you say with your first hand experience in NHS. My other question is again compare us to our tinfoil hat American cousins, is there a lead agency that in say for example the NBC attack aspect that is constantly on guard for these sort of events like FEMA and some extent CDC. Does PHE/COBRA perform some kind of early warning system in place? Or is it as simple as waiting for that first causality to turn up at the local hospital i.e after… Read more »

Jonathans
Jonathans
5 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Hi Fosterman From the point of view of natural issues, weather, disease etc the systems are pretty good, so as soon as your have a potential threat say Ebola popping up or monkey pox we have specific systems that throw our warnings, what to do and what to look for. In regards to security, we do get alerts around threat level or potential threats ( so the big one at present is cyber risk and we have enhanced warnings and advice our to staff). In regards to NBC attack that’s the realms of security services and that’s outside my understanding… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Do you think the Civil contingency had to up its game after 9/11?

Jonathans
Jonathans
4 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Hi Robert, yes massively, there was a significant review and change in focus, but it was not just 9/11, the London bombings as well. All the treatment pods and ensuring plenty of doses of meds for NBC events as well as radiological detection equipment all came in after 9/11.

Before 9/11 we had started to get better from 2004 ( when the new act came in) before then the peace dividend had killed any civil defence planning ( the same end of history bull, that gutted the millitary).

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
5 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

The NHS has a plan. Its well funded with billions and billions of budgetary allocation. You get the tens and tens of thousands of clipboard carrying managers in suits to waft all NBC victims down with their prodigious clipboards. They generate so much hot air all particles of contamination will be blown away.

Jonathans
Jonathans
5 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Mr Bell NHS incident control rooms are run by volunteers who offer to be woken at any time to manage a catastrophe incident. The only individual who is being paid to be on all is the Director. There is a bizarre delusion that the NHS has more managers than other systems and yet it’s one of the most lean management structures you will fine if you compare with any like organisation…most NHS managers are specialists that bring required skills ( like how to set up an incident response for civil contingency, ect), we just tend to call them managers when… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
5 days ago
Reply to  Jonathans

Thanks for the informative posts mate. Lots of misconceptions about the NHS. Fantastic organisation, It has its issue’s, but my word, we don’t realise how fortunate we are in this country to have it. And like so many other things, we take it for granted.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Seconded. It’s fascinating reading.

Jonathans
Jonathans
4 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Yes indeed, like all complex systems with limited resources and unlimited demand it has its issues especially post covid. But what it’s provided to the British people for what we have put in is second to none really. People do forget that just something like a sprained ankle and X-ray check would set you back £300 in a private system ( nhs Charges £79,00) and as for a knee replacement your looking at £15,000 for private care ( the nhs charges the taxpayer around £4500).

But it does like everything need constant upkeep.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Where are the dedicated units? We have a structure in place across all 3 emergency services and the military, backed up by some of the world’s leading CBRN experts. We have a dedicated unit back with the Army. 28 RE took on the CBRN role from the RAF. Winterbourne Gunner has the CBRN Defence School, next door to Porton. They are a part of the HRF high readiness response force which includes RLC and RS squadrons at short notice to move to assist with a UK incident. Police have an equivalent at Ryton in the Midlands I think? Jonathan is… Read more »

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
4 days ago

What I was trying to say in a roundabout way is what’s changed since Salisbury? And is the government prepared for another attack? Since we’ve taken on the lead roll in Europe of support for the Ukrainian government one feels were sticking our neck out a bit and what with the Russians ok with striking nuclear power stations it kind of important for general public to understand what assets/systems the government has in place to prevent in the first place. It’s good to know and very interesting what Jonathan is saying about the civil response plans to minimise death in… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Right, I’m with you.

What has changed? We won’t know. But I find comfort in the details that J provides that contingencies and assets are at least in place.

Whether an asset is ever present in enough numbers is another matter!

Jonathans
Jonathans
4 days ago

Interesting on amounts of assets as that’s something you can never really plan for.., I mean a worst case of say major contamination of a cities water supply would overwhelm any and all plans you could ever put in place…. I could think up and plan through any number of scenarios that would overwhelm any system. Unfortunately you can only put in place what is reasonable. So moderate to low casualty numbers even for mass casualties events Any ED would be overwhelmed with 15 major casualties arriving at any one time. most EDs have 3-4 resus bays for trauma arrest… Read more »

Graham b
Graham b
5 days ago

It is good to see this old skill being revised.
It used to be a regular part of annual training and field exercises.

The Czechs are Nato’s NBC specialists and will be good teachers.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
5 days ago

My NBC knowledge and training dates back decades, and probably couldn’t be less relevant now. I thought the 58 pattern gas mask was a good piece of kit, however I did think at the time, that the supposed charcoal lined NBC suits, would probably fail miserably in a chemical attack. Someone please tell me they managed to do away with those rubber ‘over-boot’ things… They were shocking, so bad that no one ever wore them.

Matt
Matt
5 days ago

Sky News majoring on RAF training problems:
https://news.sky.com/story/uks-ability-to-train-fast-jet-pilots-in-crisis-due-to-faulty-aircraft-and-instructors-shortage-leaked-documents-suggest-12666275

“UK’s ability to train fast jet pilots in crisis as threats grow from Russia and China, leaked documents suggest”
True?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Matt

1 FTS and 7 FTS reduced to 1 squadron in 4 FTS, 170 odd Tucano replaced by 9 then I think 13 Texan?

That is the basic side alone. Too few assets as post Cold War and post 2010 they were cut back.

From 2015 there have been small incremental improvements but it takes time to set in place.

I’m also reading some of the issues are at the OCU stage which is the RAFs problem not contractors at the basic level.

John Stott
John Stott
5 days ago

Nice yellow suit with a S10 AND exposed skin. Must be a sailor.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  John Stott

Ohhh go on then ..Ill bite!
Looks like a civvy or other Nato nation member.
The RN is rather good at CBRN…Whilst everyone else was playing COIN in Iraq and Afghan the RN carried on doing its day to day training on the wet and lumpy stuff. CBRNDC is well practised. The RN never got skill fade.