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Education in Disaster Management and Emergencies: Defining a New European Course

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 March 2015

Amir Khorram-Manesh
Affiliation:
Prehospital and Disaster Medicine Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden
Michael Ashkenazi
Affiliation:
Bonn International Center for Conversion, Bonn, Germany
Ahmadreza Djalali
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM, Universita del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Pier Luigi Ingrassia
Affiliation:
CRIMEDIM, Universita del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Tom Friedl
Affiliation:
NHCS, National Health Career School of Management, Hennigsdorf/Berlin, Germany
Gotz von Armin
Affiliation:
NHCS, National Health Career School of Management, Hennigsdorf/Berlin, Germany
Olivera Lupesco
Affiliation:
URGENTA, Clinical Emergency Hospital, Bucharest, Romania
Kubilay Kaptan
Affiliation:
AFAM, Disaster Research Center, Istanbul Aydin University, Istanbul, Turkey
Chris Arculeo
Affiliation:
Hanover Associates, Teddington, London, United Kingdom
Boris Hreckovski
Affiliation:
CROUMSA, Croatian Urgent Medicine and Surgery Association, Slav. Brod, Croatia
Radko Komadina
Affiliation:
SBC, General and Teaching Hospital Celje, Medical faculty Ljubljana, Slovenia
Philipp Fisher
Affiliation:
University Clinic Bonn, Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Bonn, Germany
Stefan Voigt
Affiliation:
DLR, German Aerospace Center, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
James James
Affiliation:
Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
Elin Gursky
Affiliation:
Analytic Services, Inc., Falls Church, VA, USA.
Corresponding

Abstract

Objective

Unremitting natural disasters, deliberate threats, pandemics, and humanitarian suffering resulting from conflict situations necessitate swift and effective response paradigms. The European Union’s (EU) increasing visibility as a disaster response enterprise suggests the need not only for financial contribution but also for instituting a coherent disaster response approach and management structure. The DITAC (Disaster Training Curriculum) project identified deficiencies in current responder training approaches and analyzed the characteristics and content required for a new, standardized European course in disaster management and emergencies.

Methods

Over 35 experts from within and outside the EU representing various organizations and specialties involved in disaster management composed the DITAC Consortium. These experts were also organized into 5 specifically tasked working groups. Extensive literature reviews were conducted to identify requirements and deficiencies and to craft a new training concept based on research trends and lessons learned. A pilot course and program dissemination plan was also developed.

Results

The lack of standardization was repeatedly highlighted as a serious deficiency in current disaster training methods, along with gaps in the command, control, and communication levels. A blended and competency-based teaching approach using exercises combined with lectures was recommended to improve intercultural and interdisciplinary integration.

Conclusion

The goal of a European disaster management course should be to standardize and enhance intercultural and inter-agency performance across the disaster management cycle. A set of minimal standards and evaluation metrics can be achieved through consensus, education, and training in different units. The core of the training initiative will be a unit that presents a realistic situation “scenario-based training.” (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:245-255)

Type
Original Research
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2015 

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