French Red Cross provides comfort and first aid in the aftermath of Paris attacks

Publié: 15 janvier 2015 16:31 CET

By Andreea Anca, IFRC

French Red Cross (FRC) mobilized more than 600 volunteers, 61 ambulances and three mobile units (PCM) in response to a series of organized armed attacks against civilians, which unfolded at different locations in Paris and its surrounding areas between 7-9 January.

The French authorities called for the immediate intervention of the Red Cross shortly after a shooting attack left 12 people dead and many injured at the offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.

Support centres

In response to the crisis and in coordination with authorities Red Cross rescue teams transported the injured to the nearby hospital. FRC also set up two reception centres close to the site of the attack where relatives of the victims as well as eye-witnesses traumatized by the experience received psychosocial support.

Four first aid teams were deployed that evening at Place de la République, where a sombre crowd  gathered spontaneously in solidarity with the victims.

As attacks continued, French Red Cross reinforced its presence at other locations in and around Paris .

As the “Vigipirate” - the national security alert system  in France - came into force the French Red Cross informed emergency and first aid departments in the area about the safety instructions and anticipatory measures.

French Red Cross activated the regional action plan ARAMIS, which allows for the coordination of immediate response in case of simultaneous emergencies.

The work of the Red Cross volunteers continued after the crisis ended as hundreds of Red Cross volunteers were on standby to offer first aid and psychosocial support at the Unity Marches attended by millions of people across France.