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Moving into the Future

2011-2015 The Initial Project
The CBRNE Collaborative was developed in response to a gap identified by the Canadian Research and Technical Initiative (CRTI) in standard Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) in the areas of medical and casualty management, public confidence and psychosocial factors.
Methods: Technology was used to form a “community of practice”[1] [2] whose goal was to leverage existing CBRNE content and expertise to assemble a CBRNE training program for health care providers at a professional and learner level. The process was iterative with an aim to identify and evolve program elements that demonstrated significant improvement in end-user knowledge, would be economically feasible to sustain, and meet the approval of experts (i.e. have content validity).
Results: The CBRNE Collaborative leveraged technology, existing content and a strong core team to reach almost 10000 people in a 3-year period.
It trained over 3000 individuals at different levels, reached over 5900 people through Social Media, and supported over 450 on-line collaborators working on critical CBRNE projects including Ebola.
Preliminary Conclusions:
1. The utilization of a web based collaborative that supports teleconferences, document sharing, asynchronous work-space, and an information archive is an efficient way to support geographically distributed teams working on complex problems such as CBRNE training.
2. Value Streamed (Lean) Technical CBRNE Training is perceived as effective.
3. CBRNE Training is concerned with health care worker safety and must:           
a. meet a recognized standard such as CAN/CGSB/CSA-Z1610
b. be risk based
c. match local resources
d. be economically feasible and sustainable
e. evolve over time based on ongoing risk assessments and standards

2015- Present

In 2015 -2016 The CBRNE Collaborative Team was invited by Global Affairs Canada ( to work with the Medical Community in Jordan, to develop guidelines for the development of a National Medical CBRN Program. The project involved exchange visits between teams, many discussions and took over a year. The result is a literature search and 274 page document (easily readable) that contains "Ten Recommendations to Consider When Establishing a Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear (CBRN) Program for Hospitals". The most amazing recommendation to  most is:  "Teach staff how to protect themseleves WITHOUT PPE". The pdf will soon be released to a wider audience. Currently available in both English and Arabic.

In 2016, the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ( invited the CBRNE Collaborative Team develop both Medical and Personal Protection Training for at risk professionals who were cleaning up residual chemical weapon wastes. The project, turned out to be one of the most challenging and rewarding ever undertaken by the Team, resulting in a new advanced training program that included Mission Profiling, Medical Management, Detection and the use Level C PPE.

Since 2016,  the CBRNE Collaborative continues to provide the web infrastructure for over 20 professional diverse and geographically distributed teams, so they can collaborate to build the content and program for the 2017 World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine Congress, in Toronto April 25-28, 2017. Key CBRNE Collaborative members Dr. Laurie Mazurik and Trevor Hall, are the Congress Co-chairs, in what has grown to be one of the most  diverse and dynamic World Congress programs ever! There are over 500 abstract presentations and 40 workshops-including CBRN.

Next Steps to Consider. THERE IS STILL MUCH TO DO!

The CBRNE Collaborative is actively searching for projects and collaborative opportunites in this field. In the next few months leading up to the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine Congress, we intend to share our ideas, invite opinion, and shape a sustainable future through partnerships with both frontline and global administrative bodies.

Our goals: promote adaptiveness, consensus, efficiency and sustainability.

How: Seek New partners with common views and use technology to unify-accelerate our readiness.


[1] Etienne Wenger (1999) Communities of Practice. Learning, meaning and identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


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