Since 2001, civil protection in Europe has been more than a national task and is coordinated across borders within the Union Civil Protection Mechanism UCPM – if necessary. Efficient and smooth cooperation between emergency services on the ground naturally requires that they are trained and operate according to uniformly high quality standards. The EU Commission has therefore commissioned an international consortium to plan and implement a joint training program for emergency services – currently in its 19th training cycle under the leadership of a dedicated team from the THW training center in Neuhausen auf den Fildern.

The current training cycle, which runs until July 2024, is the most extensive to date with 29 online and face-to-face courses at 16 training locations from Wicklow (Ireland) and Valencia in the west to Athens and Bucharest in the east. Course directors, lecturers and participants all come together in Neuhausen. The complete revision of the training content for the eight training modules was managed from there.

Innovations in EU civil protection training

Transnational civil protection typically faces “national” challenges, such as the different structures of emergency response organizations, different decision-making processes, different legal frameworks or the diversity of available technology or logistics solutions.

The UCPM training courses for emergency personnel complement national training courses that are available for disaster management experts in their respective countries or from their home organizations. The focus is therefore on imparting the know-how that members of transnational civil protection teams need to work together efficiently in international operations within and outside Europe.

The training modules have been redesigned for this purpose in the current 19th training cycle, including for different learning needs. For team leaders, for example, there is a linear training path in which the learning modules build on each other. For specialists, there is a series of new, customized courses with online modules or thematic workshops. In addition, a specific training course has been developed for each functional profile of the European Union Civil Protection Team (EUCPT). The EU-MODEX tabletop and simulation exercises are now also an integral part of the UCPM training for emergency responders.

Access to the training program regulated nationally

How can members of a fire department, rescue organization or civil protection team participate in the EU Civil Protection Training? Each participating country can have a quota of training places within the UCPM training program for emergency services. Rescue or civil protection organizations register their candidates for a training module with the respective National Training Coordinator (NTC), who is responsible for checking the technical requirements and selecting suitable participants. In Germany, the role of National Training Coordinator is held by Susanne Wacht from the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK).

The UCPM training program for emergency services under the leadership of the project team at the THW training center in Neuhausen is being developed by a Europe-wide consortium of 18 partners. In addition to the THW, the most important partners include the BBK and the Italian Civil Protection Department (ICPD).

Further information can be found here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the following two addresses: