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Europe has an extremely long relationship with disaster medicine, a few examples among many others 

79 ACN, the volcanic eruption of Pompeii

536 to 543: epidemic of bubonic plague, volcanic eruption in Iceland putting Europe into the night for 18 months.

1755: The Lisbon earthquake, followed by a tsunami decimates Portugal, killing between 50,000 and 70,000 people.

1802: the rupture of the Puentes dam in Spain kills 608 people, constituting the first major man-made disaster. The same thing happened in 1959, when the Malpasset dam burst, devastating the town of Fréjus.

1976: the Seveso factory releases herbicides (dioxins) in northern Italy, affecting 37,000 people. The name of Seveso will be used for chemical intervention plans in Europe in the following years and still today.

1986: the Chernobyl disaster is the biggest nuclear disaster in Europe.

1998: a landslide causes 147 deaths in Italy.

1999: an earthquake kills 17,000 people in Turkey

2001: explosion of the AZF factory in Toulouse (France)


The attacks also affected Europe:

                                                           1980 : the attack on the train station in Bologna, Italy kills 85 people.

                                                           2004 :  a bomb attack on a train in Madrid (Spain) kills 191 and injures 1,858.

                                                           2005 : four attacks on public transport in London.

                                                           2011 : massacre in Norway.

                                                           2015 : the Paris attacks kill 130 people.

                                                           2016 : the double attack in Brussels causes 32 deaths.

The teaching of disaster medicine was thus developed very early in Europe 

In 1976, the first session of the International Society for Disaster Medicine was held, while the Mainz club gave birth to WADEM.

France found itself at the forefront of this teaching in 1980 under the direction of Professor Huguenard and General Physician Noto.

The training also began in 1981 in Belgium.

Major initiatives in the field have emerged in Europe such as the creation of CRIMEDIM in Italy, organizing the European master in disaster medicine.

About ECDM : 

Returning from the WADEM congress in Manchester in 2013, General Doctor Henri Julien, President at that time of the French Society of Disaster Medicine, Doctor Frank Van Trimpont, Director of a Disaster Medicine course in Belgium and Mr. Christopher Boon discussed the advisability of creating a European group focused on disaster medicine. The aim was to support interest in disaster medicine in Europe, mainly in countries where this discipline was not developed, and to encourage multidisciplinary exchanges. The form chosen was that of a european council so as not to compete with other disaster medicine societies in Europe, nor with the EUSEM. This form was intended to be more unifying by providing scientific support, sharing and setting up collaboration between countries.


quickly a group of founding members was formed:

                                                                                      Pr ALVAREZ LEIVA Carlos Spain
                                                                                      Dr ARAFAT Raed Romania
                                                                                      Pr BANDEIRA Romero  Portugal
                                                                                      Mr BOON Christopher Belgium
                                                                                      Pr CAMPOS Paulo Portugal
                                                                                      Pr Della CORTE Francesco Italy
                                                                                      Dr DIMITROWA Diana  Bulgaria
                                                                                      Dr DUPONT Cyrille Luxemburg
                                                                                      Dr GABILLY  Laurent  France
                                                                                      Dr GRÜENEISEN Ulrich  Germany
                                                                                      Dr HAGON Olivier Swiss
                                                                                      Dr JULIEN Henri  France
                                                                                      Pr KURLAND Lisa  Sweden
                                                                                      Pr LATASCH Léo Germany
                                                                                      Dr LEVY Francis  France
                                                                                      Dr LOBOS Nelly  Spain

                                                                                      Dr PIERRAT Mickaël  France
                                                                                      Dr PLOTKOWSKI Luiz Mauricio  Brazil
                                                                                      Dr RONCHI Luc France
                                                                                      Dr SCHREIBER Juergen  Germany
                                                                                      Dr VAN TRIMPONT Frank  Belgium

We wanted to give this European council a European symbol. Thus it was first tried to be established in Brussels but it was finally Strasbourg which hosted, within the house of associations, the head office of the ECDM.



The first presidency was held by Dr Ulrich Grüneisen, but the Covid crisis delayed and made the launch of the ECDM more difficult. In June 2022, Doctor Frank Van Trimpont took over the Presidency, assisted by Doctor Jan-Cédric Hansen, Vice-President, Doctor Veronica Aquilino, General Secretary and Mr Christopher Boon, Treasurer.

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