International Committee of the Red Cross

In Pictures: Responding to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) events.

Photo gallery 30 January 2017

ICRC delegates attend annual CBRN training at Camp Curragh military college, Ireland.

In September 2016, ICRC delegates working in conflict zones all over the world, attended a week-long CBRN training hosted for the second year in a row by the Defence Forces of Ireland. Throughout the week, participants were trained in how to protect themselves in the event of exposure to CBRN events and how to assist those affected by radioactive, biological or chemical substances.

"In conflict zones, there is a potential for intentional or unintentional release of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents" said Stephen Donnelly, CBRN Technical Advisor in the ICRCs Weapons Contamination Unit. "It's essential that humanitarians workers understand exactly how to respond in situations of exposure of CBRN agents. They need to know how to both keep themselves safe and provide humanitarian assistance at the same time."

Mounting an effective international humanitarian response to CBRN event, especially if the response is undertaken on an ad hoc basis, would be extremely difficult and would pose many risks to the responders. Therefore regular basic training such as that at Camp Curragh is becoming a critical aspect of field training for ICRC delegates.