Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training issues in India: A fresh perspective

J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2010 Jul;2(3):275-80. doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.68510.


Appropriate training is the key to the right level of preparedness against any disaster, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) disasters are no different. The presence of contamination precludes rescue operations to commence soon after the event and it takes a systematic approach to detect and decontaminate the CBRN hazard. Achieving such interventions poses a critical challenge because humans do not possess any inborn, natural sensors with which to recognize these dangers early enough. This requires special training besides the right tools to achieve the objective. CBRN training in India has evolved over the years as a pure military-related concept to a disaster-level response training involving the first responders. The complex nature of CBRN agents requires a methodical and systematic approach to counter the response successfully, and the training for this necessitates adoption of proven modern principles of education management, like training needs analysis, operational research, etc. Simulation as a training and planning offers repeatability, controllability and the possibility for evaluation and is being successfully used in some advanced countries for training responders in the relatively unknown and mysterious domain of CBRN disaster management training. There is also a perceived need to integrate and standardize the curricula to suit the respective first responder. It is strongly felt that with the able support of apex agencies like National Disaster Management Authority and guidance of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the training effort in CBRN disaster management will get the right impetus to achieve a stature of a modern, progressive and mature endeavour. This will enable India to develop a strong CBRN defence posture very much in line with the country's emerging status globally as a technological power.

Keywords: CBRN curriculum; CBRN disaster management; CBRN simulation facility; National Disaster Response Force (NDRF); quick reaction medical team; quick reaction team; training need analysis.