European harmonised CBRN Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear (Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear) training curriculum for first responders and medical staff, including ambulance drivers, paramedics and emergency room personnel: MELODY

The target group included members of agencies that were responsible for dealing with emergencies, being unintentional or intentional releases of CBRN, which required immediate action. The MELODY training provided a clear picture of the possible consequences and effects and how to act together in a safe and effective and efficient way.

Goal of the project

Incidents in the past involving CBRN agents have demonstrated the relevance of those in the first line of action (first responders) to be aware of and recognising a CBRN incident, as well as to be prepared on how to act safely. A CBRN incident can be caused by an accident or negligence, but also by deliberate release of CBRN agents or in rare cases a terrorist attack.

The EU European Union (European Union) first responder community has specific CBRN training needs. The MELODY curriculum aimed to target these specific training needs to improve CBRN awareness amongst first responders. The goal of the MELODY curriculum was that first responders and medical staff were able to:

  • Recognise potential CBRN threats
  • Take proper personal protection measures and
  • know which specialist (teams) to call

Who were involved 

  • Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie/Centre d'Etude de l'Energie Nucléaire Belgium
  • Nederlandse organisatie voor toegepast natuurwetenschappelijk onderzoek TNO, Netherlands
  • Rijksinstituut voor volksgezondheid en milieu, Netherlands
  • Universita degli studidi Roma tor vergata, Italy
  • Umea universiteit, Sweden
  • ISEM institut pre medzinarodnu bezpecnost a krizove riadenie, NO, Slovakia 
  • Autonoom provinciebedrijf Campus Vesta, Belgium 
  • Keszenleti Rendorseg, Hungary 
  • Universytet Lodzki, Polska 
  • Länsi-Suomen Pelastusharjoitusaluesäätiö, Finland
  • European Council of Disaster Medicine (ECDM), France


The website contains e-learnings for first responders and material for CBRN trainers. The training material consists of: 

  • Guide for trainers
  • Classroom presentations
  • Scenarios
  • Hands-on video training material
  • Tabletop exercises
  • E-learnings in 10 European languages
  • Test questions
  • MELODY card game

The Powerpoints, the Trainer guide, the animations and supporting documents can be edited for translation and adaptation to national guidelines. The source documents can be downloaded from the repositories listed below. For the translation of some material, technical aspects have to be taken into consideration.  


MELODY Train-the-trainer courses, Tour d’Europe:

  • 15/16 Sept 2022 near Malmö: Baltic Sea region 
  • 26/27 Oct 2022 Prague: Southeast Europe
  • 22/23 Nov 2022 Sonthofen: German-speaking countries
  • 22/23 Nov 2022 near Lisbon: Southwest Europe
  • Nov/Dec 2022: Benelux countries

RIVM role 

RIVM lead the development of the harmonised curriculum (WP 3) and the subsequent strengthening of the curriculum (WP 5). This entailed the coordination and participation in the selection, improvement and harmonisation of existing training curricula, as well as development of additional, training curricula, materials and facilities. RIVM oversaw and contributed to the scientific and technical quality of the work in both WPs. We also contributed to other work packages (WPs 2–7) from an experienced trainer and subject matter expertise viewpoint.


MELODY was funded by the European Commission, DG Migration and Home Affairs under grant number 814803.