The composition of a B-FAST team depends on the type of intervention and thus on the type of disaster (floods, pollution, earthquakes, tidal waves, etc.). They are responsible, amongst other things, for tracing, localizing and rescuing persons buried under the rubble because of buildings falling down due to earthquakes, explosions and landslides.
Belgian intervention modules that can be deployed abroad in the framework of B-Fast are:
- Urban Search And Rescue (USAR), amongst which relief teams with dogs
- High Capacity Pumping (HCP)
- Advanced Medical Post
- Field Hospital
- CBRN Detection and Sampling
- Emergency Temporary Shelter
- Water Purification
Belgian assistance abroad is usually coordinated on the European level. At the request of the European Union, Belgium then sends a B-FAST team (Belgian First Aid and Support team). The FPS Home Affairs contributes to B-FAST through DICa-DIR, the detachment for intervention in case of disasters abroad. This detachment is placed under the Directorate-General Civil Security of Home Affairs. The members of DICa-DIR always are part of the fire departments or the Civil Protection.
Belgium has sent a B-FAST team for instance after disasters in the Philippines, Haiti, Romania, …
The request for assistance from a country stricken by a disaster to the European Union, arrives through the Emergency Response & Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the European Commission. The ERCC collects and analyzes information regarding disasters, monitors possible risks, prepares for the deployment of experts, teams and means and cooperates with member states to map the available means. The ERCC then passes the request to the member states. Each country then can do a proposal for assistance. From medical help, over shelter and relief, to water purification. The country that requests the assistance then decides which help they ask in addition on the basis of their needs.
Member of the B-Fast team? Click here to access database