Wednesday 5 June 2024

The EU IMPRESS Project holds its third Steering Committee Meeting

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The IMPRESS (IMProving Railway sEcurity through awareneSS and training) project, co-funded by the European Union and coordinated by the UIC Security Division, held its third Steering Committee Meeting on 27 May 2024. Representatives from each consortium partner (UIC, DHPol, FS, NS, PKP S.A. and SNCB) attended the online meeting, reporting on work completed to date and exchanging on the project activities.

The partners discussed the ongoing work on the curriculum development for the training programmes to combat terrorism and other major events in the rail environment, including the online workshop held 28 – 29 February. During the workshop, both consortium partners and advisory board members provided key inputs towards the development of the main features of the training programme (module structure, module content, delivery methods, etc.). The modules were positively received by attendees, and the first version of the modules is on track to be delivered in September 2024.

The meeting was also an opportunity to highlight recent dissemination actions taken by the project partners. Laura Petersen, UIC Senior Security Research Advisor, represented the IMPRESS project at the CBRNE R&I conference, held in Strasbourg France, on 19 – 21 March. IMPRESS was part of the session on CBRNE training and human factors, whereby she presented the IMPRESS CBRN training module. Further, IMPRESS was on the “from knowledge of multi-hazard risks and vulnerabilities to preparedness and response, Societal (CBRN) Resilience” panel, discussing the importance of a whole community approach to improve rail security.

The EU funded project SHIELD4CROWD invited IMPRESS to participate in their User Observatory Group meeting, held in Warsaw, Poland on 15 – 16 May. Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of UIC Security Division, presented the work carried out so far and highlighted the synergies between the two projects.

Furthermore, Grigore Havârneanu, UIC Senior Security Research Advisor, was invited to speak at the recent Société Française de Médecine de Catastrophe (SFMC – French Society for Disaster Medicine) conference, which focused on citizen actions as a resilience factor during crises. He explained the research IMPRESS has conducted to collect and validate the training needs for frontline railway staff and stakeholders at stations and gave an overview of the training modules which are currently under development.

During the recent COLPOFER anti-terrorism working group meeting, Bruno de Rosa, UIC Senior Security Advisor, also presented the work of the IMPRESS project.

The steering committee meeting attendees also discussed the second IM(PRESS) Review, which is a media monitoring on the topic of rail security carried out by the UIC Security Division. The second review covered the period of 1 December 2023 – 1 March 2024 and was published on 3 April 2024. The review has been well received by the entire rail security community and a third edition is planned for end June.

This meeting wrapped up the first year of the IMPRESS project. Looking forward, to the second and final year, the IMPRESS training modules will be piloted by four rail companies, each in a separate country. The pilots will be run as a field exercise, therefore putting trainees through real-life simulations, in order to test the knowledge and skills acquired by the trainees (rail staff, other private stakeholders in trains and stations, incident commanders, etc.).

UIC members interested in the upcoming pilots and joining the IMPRESS Advisory Board are invited to contact our team for more information.

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Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of UIC Security Division, at the SHIELD4CROWD workshop
Laura Petersen, UIC Senior Security Research Advisor, at the CBRNE R&I conference
Grigore Havârneanu, UIC Senior Security Research Advisor, at the SFMC conference
Attendees of the third IMPRESS workshop, held online