Improving global prehospital and emergency medicine, public health, and disaster health care and preparedness

Europe Chapter

The European Chapter of WADEM was approved by the Board of Directors in April 2023 and came together at the 22nd biennial Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine in Killarney, Ireland (9-12 May 2023). The chapter represents the 45 nations of geographical Europe, five transcontinental countries, and the islands of Cyprus and Malta. It is bound to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the north by the Arctic, and to the south by the Strait of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Dardanelles Strait, the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus Strait. This offers rich diversity of culture, language, and history.

Training in disaster medicine and management of emergency situations is quite variable depending on the country. If it is highly developed in some nations, it is less so in others. In many, disaster and emergency medicine are emerging concepts. Europe is the world’s most densely populated continent and not immune to crises impacting health. In 2023 alone, the continent has experienced a wide variety of natural disasters.

  • February saw the particularly large earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria, claiming 58,000 lives.
  • Wildfires burned throughout Greece, Rhodes, Corfu, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Southern France and Sicily. 50,000 hectares were destroyed in July 2023 alone. More than 32,000 tourists required evacuation.
  • Torrential rains, floods, and landslides impacted Slovenia.
  • Storm Hans devastated Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia.
  • Heavy rains caused major flooding in parts of Austria and Germany

Nor has Europe been spared the impact of the expanding humanitarian crisis of migration and forced dislocation. While migratory movements have been particularly significant since 2015 via the Eastern or Western Mediterranean routes, they have increased particularly since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 via the Central European routes, bringing a particularly large number of Ukrainian refugees to European countries. The European Chapter of WADEM therefore has a particularly important role to assume in the development of crisis and disaster management to address the overlapping and complex events that are becoming more common on the continent.

EURO Chapter Leadership

Frank Van Trimpont, MD
President, European Council of Disaster Medicine

Member, Collaboration for Research to Enhance Disaster Outcomes (CREDO)
Jan-Cedric Hansen, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Centre d'Hébergement et d'Accompagnement Gérontologique

President, International Commission on Disaster Medicine

Chapter Committee Members

  • General Secretary: Sevan Gerard (Austria)
  • Scientific Committee Chair: Vincent Bounes, PhD (France)
  • Coordinator Congress WADEM-EURO: Emmanuel Rorhbacher (France)

Mission & Vision

Mission: The European chapter will aim to provide access to training in disaster medicine for the greatest number of people in Europe, particularly in countries with no national education and training in disaster medicine. It will encourage the development of disaster medicine via the European Council of Disaster Medicine (ECDM), the European Society for Emergency Medicine (EUSEM), and other similarly focused organizations, which allows the sharing of knowledge. The European Chapter will encourage the designation of disaster and emergency medicine within European countries as recognized specializations and will help members to share their knowledge of emergency medicine.

Vision: The European Chapter will advance and promote the development, evaluation, and dissemination of scientific evidence and best practices in emergency and disaster healthcare and disaster risk reduction, drawing from the rich and diverse professional and volunteer communities of Europe.


The European Chapter exists to train, share, encourage research, and form a multidisciplinary meeting space to:

  • Represent disaster and emergency medicine in and for all of Europe, coordinating and collaborating with affiliate organizations.
  • Encourage European countries to exchange their initiatives and knowledge in disaster and emergency medicine.
  • Provide a platform for exchange between European countries and between them and WADEM.
  • Encourage education, research, and training in disaster and emergency medicine in
  • Represent Europe within WADEM.
  • Encourage multidisciplinary work and teaching.

Founding Members

The European Chapter would like the acknowledge the following individuals for their efforts in establishing the chapter:

  • Emmanuel Rorhbacher (France)
  • Sevan Gerard (Austria)
  • Ulkumen Rodoplu (Türkiye)
  • Olivier Hagon (Switzerland)
  • Nelly Habed Lobos (Spain)
  • Veronica Aquilino (Portugal)
  • Raed Arafat (Romania)
  • Will van Rossel (Netherlands)
  • Fabio Ciciliano (Italy)
  • Virginia Murray (United Kingdom)
  • Dita Heiberga (Latvia)
  • Jan-Cedric Hansen (France)
  • Frank Van Trimpont (Belgium)
  • Roberto Mugavero (San Marino)