Joint Exercise of Military Emergencies Unit (UME): Region of Murcia 2018


Annually the Military Emergencies Unit (UME) organizes a Joint-Combined Exercise (JEC) as part of its preparation to run Operational Direction of an Emergency of National Interest in Spain.

In this year 2018, in its eighth edition, the Joint Combined Exercise was carried out in the region of Murcia, between April 23 and 27, under the name of “ECC Region of Murcia 2018”, and had the outstanding presence of the Chief of Defense Staff (JEMAD), Army General D. Fernando Alejandre Martínez, Admiral Chief of the Navy Staff (AJEMA), Admiral General D. Teodoro López Calderón and the Chief of the Military Unit of Emergencies (UME), Lieutenant General D. Miguel Alcañiz Comas.

As it is mentioned on both Defense Staff (EMAD) and the Military Emergency Unit (UME) websites. In these Joint Combined Exercises, almost all agencies (both civil and military), with responsibilities in Emergency and Crisis management participate. The objective is to faithfully reproduce the context of an Emergency and thereby validate the Contingency Plans of the Civil Protection Plans for the response to the risks arising from different emergency situations.

During the 5 days of this JEC 2018, more than 3,500 people (unprecedented in Spain), belonging to the UME, Army, Navy, Air Force, State Security Forces and Services, Service 112, Civil Protection, Fire Brigades, CHS, Red Cross, ONCE, CERMI, VOST, Local Police, etc

Specifically, JEC  Region of Murcia 2018 simulated a catastrophe scenario due to seismic risk, which would produce a series of derived risks, with a predominance of Environmental Risks and Technological Risks, as stated on the website of the ECC Region of Murcia 2018 .

In that sense, as noted both on the website of the UME and the Defense Staff, “.. simulated a series of accidents that caused environmental consequences with radiological and biological leaks in the Hospital of Santa Lucia (Murcia) or phenol in a ship in the Port of Escombreras among others. For this, the intervention of the Technology and Environmental Emergencies Intervention Group of the UME (GIETMA) was necessary … “.

By definition, Hazmat Incidents (caused by biological, radiological or chemical agents) are High Impact Low Probability (HILP) events. Therefore, the inclusion in the Combined-Joint Exercise of these simulations related to incidents with chemical, biological or radiological agents, is fundamental to validate the Contingency Plans for the management of CBRN scenarios.

In the management of a Hazmat incident (or CBRN incidents), CBRN Decontamination procedures are vital to mitigate risks and save lives. Within the JEC Region of Murcia 2018, the GIETMA (Technological and Environmental Emergencies Intervention Group) of the UME was responsible for the operational deployment to manage the decontamination of both the people affected and the participants themselves in the contaminated scenarios.

The GIETMA has a Mass Decontamination Station for Personnel, developed by Hispano Vema. The massive decontamination stations of personnel (also known as Decontamination Tent) are a fundamental capability to ensure effective and rapid decontamination of the people harmed in this type of catastrophes or emergencies. Reducing the risk of contamination expansion to other areas and population groups, and saving the lives of casualties.

UME Mass Personnel Decontamination Station has the possibility to configure the decontamination lines for both valid persons and injured or disabled people (who need assistance to apply decontamination). This versatility is provided by modular decontamination showers, a Hispano Vema innovation that provides the flexibility and capability necessary to manage decontamination in CBRN scenarios when there is a large number of casualties.

The realization of this Joint Exercise-Combined Region of Murcia 2018, has had a great following in the media, then some of the links with news related to this JEC:

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