International Committee of the Red Cross includes Lebanon in toxic response training

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday that it would hold a training course on Monday to teach ambulance service providers, including the Lebanese Red Cross, how to navigate events involving nuclear, radiological, biological or chemical agents.

"The aim is to brief emergency medical-service workers on the basic techniques that should be used to respond to situations of contamination by chemicals and other toxic agents," Steve Donnelly, an ICRC specialist, said. "We're basically trying to show them how to protect themselves and assist possible victims."

This year, attendees include staff from outside the ICRC, such as the Lebanese Red Cross, for the first time.

"The ICRC will now seek comments from all participants on whether the training was useful and whether it increased their knowledge of how to use protective equipment, how to recognize symptoms in possible victims and indicators in the environment, and how to assist victims while protecting themselves," Donnelly said.

The ICRC has partnered with the Lebanese Red Cross for many years to help provide logistics training, ambulance fleet maintenance, information-technology equipment, medical supplies and upgrades to medical-service centers.

The ICRC was established in 1863 and provides worldwide humanitarian help for victims of conflict and armed violence.

The Lebanese Red Cross was created in 1945 as an independent national society.