EU, COVID19 pandemic & first reponders

European bodies: ERCC

The Emergency Response Coordination Centre is the heart of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and coordinates the delivery of assistance to disaster stricken countries, such as relief items, expertise, civil protection teams and specialised equipment. The centre ensures the rapid deployment of emergency support and acts as a coordination hub between all EU. Member States and the 6 additional Participating States, the affected country, and civil protection and humanitarian experts. The centre operates 24/7 and can help any country inside or outside the EU affected by a major disaster upon request from the national authorities or a UN body.

Why is this important?

A well-coordinated response to man-made disasters and natural hazards at European level can avoid duplication of relief efforts and ensure that assistance is tailored to the needs of those affected. To lessen the burden on contributing states, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre can liaise directly with the national civil protection authorities of the country in need and can also financially support the delivery of civil protection teams and assets to the affected country.

  • Coordination platform for civil protection and humanitarian aid
  • Civil protection cooperation and development of EU emergency response
  • Enhancing crisis response coordination at European level
  • Fighting forest fires
  • Response to Marine Pollution
COVID-19: common EU response

COVID-19 is an example of global emergency where a large percentage of citizens become first responders

The European Commission is coordinating a common European response  to the coronavirus outbreak. They are taking resolute action to reinforce public health sectors and mitigate the socio-economic impact in the European Union. They are mobilising all means at their disposal to help Member States coordinate their national responses and are providing objective information about the spread of the virus and effective efforts to contain it.

A Coronavirus response team has been established to coordinate the response to the pandemic.

COVID-19 pandemic

EFPA (European Federation of Psychologist’s Associations) refers to COVID-19 as an important problem of public health at an European level.

First responders are facing very stressful and unknown situations which, according to OMS, means it is very important to provide them with psychological support.

The implementation of certain measures such as confining the population and general lockdowns, physical and social distancing, are translating in a huge pressure on first responders, who are not only affected at a psychological level but also at a physical one, as they are working in the first line. All this is collapsing EU health systems.

Would you like to know more?

If your would like to know more about psychological support and mental health under the COVID-19 outbreak, you can check out further resources, such as:

“Coronavirus: 7 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health”

A brief article by Jo Steer which gives some good advice on helping relieve stress, including disrupting negative mental images, being honest with yourself about how you’re feeling, and maintaining a healthy ‘mental diet’, meaning avoiding scrolling through online news more often than we need to.

“If you’re worried about your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak“