In March 2018 ModEX took place at the Professional Training Centre at Montana in Bulgaria
The training center is located in north-western Bulgaria, 130 km from the capital city of Sofia and 30 km east of the Serbian border. It is in operation since 2005 and is part of the Directorate Regional Fire Safety and Civil Protection – Montana‚ under the Directorate General Fire Safety and Civil Protection in the Ministry of Interior.
The Training Centre has two Licenses:
License issued by the National Agency for Vocational Education and training for conducting and certifying vocational training for attainment of professional qualification degree for the profession „First Responders to Disasters, Accidents and Catastrophes“
License issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency for conducting specialized training in radiation protection and attainment of professional qualification in handling sources of ionizing radiations.
The modern facilities in the Centre are allowing the trainees to experience real-life obstacles in the execution of search, rescue and other life-saving operations.
Fields for preliminary training and simulators for car accidents, earthquake, train accident, water rescue activities, CBRN accidents can accommodate more than 100 people simultaneously for exercising all different techniques. In addition to that the close cooperation of the Training Centre with the Administration of the town of Montana, allows use of additional buildings surrounding the Training Centre and not being used for other purposes. The Training Centre is also part of the NATO training facilities network, specialized in CBRN protection and training.
The main activities of the training centre include:
Training of rescuers and experts from the Directorate General Fire Safety and Civil Protection in the Ministry of Interior
Special training on radiological protection
Training on external programs (volunteers, units of the Integrated Rescue System, experts from coordination headquarters in case of disasters)
Organizing and conducting national and international exercises
Conducting scientific and methodological activities
The Training Centre hosted two previous EU ModEX exercises:
EU ModEX 2013 Exercise with USAR modules from Czech Republic, Estonia and Slovenia and UCPT, and gave full mission experience to the participants.
EU ModEX 2016 Exercise with Water related modules: HCP Module from Germany, BaltFlood Combat HCP Module, Water purification Module from Hungary, TAST from Romania and UCPT. The bid dam and rivers in surroundings of Montana allowed interesting and challenging sites for the participants.
Hotel – SAR/ SAR in CBRN, daily and night actions, technical rope, cutting concrete, “injured, trapped or missing” rescuers, interoperability between at least 2 modules, aftershocks effects.
Landslide area – SAR of missing people, using of K9, alpine techniques, daily and night actions.
Chemical plant – SAR in CBRN conditions.
Multilevel building – cutting concrete, breaching, lifting, aftershocks effects.
Tunnel – traffic accidents, contamination with CBRN substances, aftershocks effects, shoring, etc.