OPEX – external operations
In some large camps occupied by the French army under UN mandate, detachments of firemen are sent by the BSPP and inserted within the forces on foreign operations scenes. In 2016 the BSPP is present in Lebanon for renewable 4-months mandates.
The French soldiers in Lebanon are deployed within the framework of Daman operation, the French participation to the UN temporary force in Lebanon (FINUL) created in 1978. This operation is a result of the UN resolution 1701, on August 11, 2006, aiming at reinforcing the FINUL
In answer to the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah caused by the kidnapping of 2 Israeli soldiers, the fire detachment has been present in Lebanon since June 2008. It was repositioned in June 2012 on geographic point 9.1 (Deyr Kifa) and is made of 6 BSPP firemen.
Besides protecting French soldiers and defending infrastructures the detachments sent on missions abroad, within the framework of conventions signed with the Army staffs, organize first-aid and fire procedure training courses. They may also develop cooperation with local firemen and intervene as helpers on neighboring areas provided that they should be perfectly secure.
The Haiyan cyclone struck Philippines on the Thursday 8 of November 2013. The French government answered favorably at the request of international aid, formulated by the Filipino president, by dispatching a detachment of civil security on the spot. This detachment was placed under the authority of Mister the ambassador of France in Philippines. 4 firemen of Paris, integrated into the detachment of the zone Ile-of-France, were deployed in Philippines. This national detachment counted 63 members resulting from the military formations from civil security, the bodies of firemen of island-in France (brigade of firemen of Paris, Departmental services of fire and help of the yvelines, the Val-d'Oise and Seine-et-Marne), as well as Head office of the civil security and management of the crises. The commitment of the human and material means (26 tons of freight) took place in several waves between the 10 and the 17 of November 2013. The main mission was to set up a logistic organization to unchoke the airport of Cebu and to ensure the distribution of the humanitarian aid to the victim populations of the disaster. On the ground, two action groups were made up:
- The first, in the north of the Island of Cebu, to proceed to operations of security of school sites (slicing of trees weakened by the cyclone, removal of remains, covering of roofs);
- The second, in Palo, on the island of Leyte, in the south of Tacloban to distribute humane freight and to repair the roof of the hospital of Palo.
On request of the French embassy in Japan, French rescuers helped to convey humanitarian freight delivered by plane in Tokyo. Among these rescuers, men from the 38th company and the corps head of the 4th GSPP who also carried out the radiological check of Franco-Japanese schools in Tokyo to allow their re-opening.
The results were satisfactory so, once the emergency mission was over, the detachment could go back to France (in successive groups) between March 28th and April 3rd, 2011. During this mission, they were faced with SD and NRBC problems, however the men of the 38th company integrated themselves perfectly and were able to show their know-how to help and protect the French detachment.
On January 12th, 2010 at 16.53 local time (22.53 in Paris)Haiti was hit by one of the most severe earthquakes it had ever experienced in the last 2 centuries: a 7.7 magnitude on the Richter scale. The epicenter was located 17 km W operational center of interministerial crisis management, the organization of watch and management of crises of civil security, was in touch with the crisis center of the Ministry of Foreign and European A airs (MAEE) in order to organize French help to the Haitian people. According to the first communications from the French embassy in Haiti, there were a large number of casualties and significant material damage.The decision to dispatch civil security resources was made as early as 1.30p m, i.e. 37 minutes a er the beginning of the earthquake.
Phase 1, known as “emergency rescue phase”, lasted from January 13 to 22: it consisted in sending teams of rescue specialized in looking for people buried under rubble and medical teams for emergency medical care. In agreement with the MAEE, the Ministry of Interior, through the director of civil security, decided to dispatch immediately help the scene of the catastrophe:
• The first group (West Indies zone) of 65 firemen from there and rescue services (SDIS) of Guadeloupe and Martinique, 5 people from the SAMU Antilles and one element of management. is group, arrived in Port-aux-Princes on Wednesday 13 of January at 2 pm local time, i.e. less than 22 hours a er the beginning of the earthquake.
• The second group of 67 soldiers of the civil security groups stationed in Brignoles in the Var department and a mission of support in crisis situation (MASC) of the direction of civil security in order to reinforce the management. This group arrived in Port-aux-Princes on thursday 14 January at 6.30 am, (local time).
• With these 2 groups, over 150 civil security people were on the scene just 24 hours following the earthquake. They were the immediate answer of the various Ministries to the Haitian catastrophe.
Given the situation, the MAEE and the Ministry of Interior organized an additional response and then strengthened the system with a third group of :
• 70 firemen belonging to the SDIS of Ile-de-France, Bouches-du-Rhône, to the BSPP, to the battalion of marine firemen of Marseilles, in order to manage an advanced medical station and to set up 10 mobile medical teams with a mission to support the local medical teams in hospitals which survived the earthquake.
• 24 military trained soldiers of civil security stationed in Nogent-le-Rotrou (Eure-et-Loir) specialized in water production with a capacity of providing water for 20,000 people a day.
This third group arrived in Port-au-Prince on Friday 15 January at 3 a.m., local time. The staff was attached to the detachment's one and stationed on the premises of the French embassy in Port-aux-Princes. Dispatched in the various cells of the state , Paris firemen actively contributed to the most efficient organization of the operational forces on the scene.
Partnerships and twinnings
The BSPP maintains finally privileged relations with some foreign countries (Germany, China, Chile, Monaco, Romania, Switzerland) for historical and professional reasons. These partnerships and twinnings are the occasion to point out often the role of the countries in the defense of the populations and the interest in sharing common knowledge to reinforce the trade of civil protection.
The international actions of the BSPP are thus concomitant with the concern of defending the Parisian population and the three departments of the small crown. It is essential in an increasing internationalization of the problems of civil security, a concern of the protection of its citizens and foreigners with respect to their security and the attention of the public authorities to cope with the new challenges posed by an increasingly evolutionary world.