Directorate General of Civil Protection and Emergencies (DGPCE)

The Ministry of Interior is the highest authority in charge of the Spanish Civil Protection. As showed in the structure below, the Directorate General of Civil Protection and Emergencies (DGPCE) under the Minister of Interior plays an essential role at state level.

logo DGPCE organigrama nivel estatal

Organic structure Directorate General of Civil Protection and Emergencies (DGPCE)

organigrama Dirección General The Law 17/2015, of 9 July, on the National Civil Protection System (NCPS) conceives it as an essential tool to ensure the coordination, the cohesion and the efficiency of Civil Protection (CP) public policies. The Law also regulates the competences of the State Administration on this matter.
Regarding the participants of the NCPS, the magnitude and importance of the values at stake in complex emergency situations imply the mobilisation of human and material resources. These belong to Public Administrations at all levels (state, regional and local). Moreover, the NCPS integrates public institutions, private entities and citizens involved in CP activities.
The CP system is based on four pillars: a comprehensive and complementary legal framework, the coordinating bodies, the planning activities and an overall training programme for stakeholders.
The legal framework is the compendium of the different bodies of legislation of both the Spanish public administrations at the three basic levels and the EU. Therefore, strengthening the interrelationship of national and supranational CP bodies and entities is required to achieve a joint action in the fields of prevention, planning and disaster response.
The coordinating bodies are the second pillar of the NCPS. The National CP Counsel is a collegial organization under the Ministry of Interior that brings together leading representatives of public administrations at all levels. Its main goal is to ensure an effective and adequate coordination in the field of CP between the administrative bodies.
Planning is the third pillar of the System. CP Plans are developed by public administrations according to the CP competences they have been assigned.
The forth pillar, the National Civil Protection School (ENPC) is the training branch of the DGPCE pursuant to Law 17/2015. It is a major centre for strategic management: that provides specialised training for national and international staff and first responders of CP agencies. Furthermore, it carries out research and development activities in the field of civil protection.

ASEM Madrid 112

imagen asem 112The Safety and Emergency Agency 112 of Madrid (ASEM112) is an instrument serving citizens that allows the integrated response of various bodies to risk situations. It sets a single emergency response system.
This new Agency primarily pursues the following aims: the elaboration of procedures of joint action, the implementation of common technology and communication platforms and the promotion of transversal and specialized training of stakeholders.
The Agency insets and coordinates into a sole structure all safety and emergency services under the Community of Madrid (Fire fighters, Forest Agents, 112, Civil Protection, coordination of Local Police and Health Services).
This structure provides a homogenous response to our community, contributing quality standards in assistance and improving day after day attention provided by each service when acting separately and together.
In this way, a more effective, operating and integrated safety model is set for all citizens of Madrid. It coordinates the action of different regional bodies of security, assistance and emergency management in a single management body.


imagenThe civil protection structure is structured in three levels: national, zonal and departmental. The latter includes the local level). At national level, the Minister of Interior prepares rescue measures and co-ordinates the emergency resources. The DGSCGC (Directorate General for Civil Security and Crisis Management), attached to the Minister of Interior, is in charge of planning and crisis management, national civil protection assets, humanitarian aid resources, civil protection doctrine and fire services. At zonal level, the Zone Prefect is responsible for the coordination of emergency resources and operations in the defence zone. He is assisted in the preparation of rescue measures by the General Secretary of the Defence and Security Zone. At departmental level, the Departmental Prefect coordinates and mobilizes public and private emergency resources. He performs his tasks together with the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (SDIS). The interdepartmental Service of Defence and Civil Protection (SIDPC) the coordination of stakeholders involved in the civil protection of the department. At local level, the Mayor in each municipality (commune) and the Department Prefect are responsible for ensuring the prevention of risks and the mobilization of aid and rescue resources. The Prefect adopts the departmental ORSEC plan (Organization of Civil Security Response) and other plans such as the ORSEC-NOVI or red plan implementing the medical aid chain in case of multiple victims. If a crisis arises, three operational centers are activated: The COGIC (Interdepartmental Operational Centre of Crisis Management), the national emergencies centre, the COZ (Zonal Operations Centre) and the CODIS (Departmental Operations Centre). Zonal operational centres (COZ) are located in Marseilles, Lyon, Rennes, Bordeaux, Metz and Paris.


imagenBelgium consists of 10 provinces and three regions. Regarding crisis management, three levels of government are central depending on the magnitude of the incident:
♦ Municipal level – responsibility of the mayor.
♦ Provincial level – responsibility of the provincial governor.
♦ Federal level – responsibility of the Minister of Home Affairs.
These levels are responsible for emergency planning in their respective territories.

In the federal phase of emergency planning, the Minister of Home Affairs is in charge of national coordination and promulgation. The Directorate General of Civil Security, which falls under the responsibility of the Minister of Home Affairs, is responsible for the following emergency services; directly -civil protection services-, indirectly -fire services.

Civil protection services are federal services and consist of six operational units, distributed across the Belgian territory.
Emergencies are coordinated at municipal, provincial, or federal levels pursuant the Royal Decree of 16 February 2006.

The Directorate of Operations under the Directorate General for Civil Security is the competent authority for national coordination.

Fire brigades depend on the municipal authorities. The Brussels fire brigade depends on the Brussels region.

Emergencies are coordinated at national/federal level in certain cases. For instance, when two or more proncinces are involved and/or the means avaible to the pronvicial governor within his/her competence of coordination are insufficient.


imagenThe civil protection structure is organized at national, zonal and departmental levels.
At national level, the Minister of the Interior prepares rescue measures and co-ordinates the emergency resources coming under the State, territorial communities and public establishments throughout the territory. He is assisted by the defence senior civil servants and the Interdepartmental Crisis Management Operations Centre in fulfilling his task of co-ordinating emergency resources.
At zonal level, the zone prefect co-ordinates the emergency resources in the defence zone. He has the Interregional Civil Security Operational Co-ordination Centre (COZ) at his disposal in fulfilling this task. He is assisted in the preparation of rescue measures by the General Secretariat of the Defence Zone and the Civil Security Zone Headquarters Staff.
At departmental level, the departmental prefect implements the public and private emergency resources and co-ordinates these resources in the department. He has the Departmental Operations Centre of the Fire and Emergency Services at his disposal. If a crisis arises, three new operational centres are activated; one at the Ministry of the Interior and the other two at the zonal level (Zonal Defence Operations Centre) and the departmental level (Departmental Operations Centre).
At national level, the general task of the Directorate of Civil Defence and Security (DSC) is to protect the State, persons and property in response to threats of aggression by emerging dangers and against risks, disasters of all kinds and catastrophes. Finally, it also takes part in environmental protection.
At ministerial level, the DSC is attached to the Ministry of the Interior. Its national operational centre (CODIG) ensures round-the-clock monitoring of large-scale rescue operations at national level in France and abroad. It is responsible for informing the Minister of the Interior and the State authorities as regards accidents and catastrophes.
Zonal operational centres on public safety (COZ) are established in Marseilles, Lyon, Rennes, Bordeaux, Metz and Paris. Inside each defence area, the COZ ensures the coordination of the aid and rescue operations under the authority of the area prefect.
Public safety is a competency shared between the local authorities and the State. The mayor in each municipality (commune) and the department prefect are responsible for ensuring the prevention of risks and the distribution of aid and rescue. The prefect adopts the departmental ORSEC plan (general organisation of public and private aid) or any other aid and rescue plan (for example the red plan implementing the medical aid chain in the event of numerous victims). The prefects have the interdepartmental service for economic and civil defence and civil protection (SIDPC) at their disposal.


imagenCivil protection in Italy is not a structure, but an integrated system that allows the coordinated use of all available state and private resources. The operational structure set-up in case of major disasters takes into account the administrative organization of the country.
The general mission of national civil protection is, both at central and local levels, to protect the lives, goods, properties and environment from damage or threats caused by natural and technological disasters and other calamities.
The "National Service of Civil Protection" was institutionalized by Act no 225 adopted on 24 February 1992. As stated in its first article, the Act is drawn up by the state administrations, both central and peripheral, the regions, the provinces, the municipalities and the mountain communities, the national public and local institutions and all other institutions or organisations, both public and private, present on the national territory. Together, they constitute the National Service of Civil Protection with designated components and operational structures.
The responsibility to decide civil protection policies is assigned to the president of the Council of Ministers, or to the Minister of the Interior appointed by him.
The coordination of the national service and the promotion of civil protection activities are undertaken by the Department of Civil Protection (Dipartimento della Protezione Civile - DPC) under the office of the president of the Council of Ministers. The Department of Civil Protection is thus the operative arm of the president of the Council, when it comes to coping with the protection of the country's people and goods.
The DPC is managed by a Head of Department and is divided into eight main offices, where each one is managed by a General Director. Each office is furthermore divided into two or more "Services" carrying out specific tasks.
In general, when a disastrous event occurs, the Department of Civil Protection is able to define within very short time, the significance of the disaster and to assess whether local resources are sufficient to face up to them. In case of necessity, support to provinces, regions and municipalities will be guaranteed. In the most serious situations, the Department of Civil Protection takes on the overall coordination of the operations, while all concerned authorities at regional, provincial and municipal levels perform their specific roles.


imagenPortugal is divided into 18 districts (distritos) and 2 autonomous regions (regioes autonomas);. The civil protection structure is organised at the national, regional and municipal levels.
The entire civil protection system integrates the National Authority for Civil Protection (ANPC), the Regional Services for Civil Protection in the Azores and Madeira (SRPC), the District Commands for Relief Operations (CDOS, one in each district) and the Municipal Services for Civil Protection (SMPC, one in each municipality).
The Prime Minister and the Ministry of the Interior are therefore responsible for directing the civil protection policy at national level.
In each district there is also a District Command for Relief Operations, a branch of the Portuguese Civil Protection Authority. In the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira there are Regional Civil Protection Services, depending on the regional government.
The civil governors of each of the 18 districts in the mainland and the presidents of the Azores and Madeira autonomous regions, in the exercise of their function as the responsible entity for the civil protection policy in each district, are responsible for activating, during the occurrence of a serious accident or catastrophe, the adequate civil protection actions aimed at prevention, aid, assistance and rehabilitation for each case.
At local level, there are Local Civil Protection Services depending on the mayor. Political and operational coordination is assured by the municipal civil protection organisations. The mayor, in the exercise of his functions as the responsible entity of the civil protection policy in the municipality, is responsible for activating, during the occurrence of a serious accident or catastrophe, the adequate civil protection actions aimed at prevention, aid, assistance and rehabilitation for each case.
Soon after a major disaster cannot be solved either by the means assigned to the municipality or to the district, where the disaster takes place, the ANPC activates the National Coordination Centre to coordinate and control the relief operations and logistics support at national level.
A National Command for Relief Operations operates 24 hours a day in the ANPC to control and manage the current situation.
According to the nature of the disaster, specific organisations may be called to act under civil protection authority (e.g. the Water Institute, the Forest Services etc).


imagenRomania is divided into 41 counties and 1 municipality (Bucharest.
The civil protection structure is organised at national, county and municipal levels.
At national level, the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (GIES) is the national civil protection authority responsible for coordinating the implementation of emergency management actions and measures on national territory. The GIES is part of the National Emergency Management System and a component of the National Defence System.
The GIES is an integrated body within the Ministry of Internal Affairs managed by a General Inspector. The GIES was established on 15 December 2004 following a merger of the Civil Protection Command and the General Inspectorate of Military Fire Corps. The GIES is responsible for coordinating all organisations involved in the management of emergencies according to international regulations.
All competent institutions in the field of defence, public order and national safety are required to transmit to the GIES or, if necessary, to the Minister of Internal Affairs or the Prime Minister information on potential emergencies, their expected evolution and consequences. The GIES communicates the decisions made by the Government or by the National Committee (through its Technical Secretariat) to the authorities of central public administration in order to secure coordinated management of emergencies.
At county level, the Professional Public Communitarian Services for Emergency Situations represent the de concentrated services and work as the Inspectorates for Emergency Situations in the 41 countries/Bucharest. The Professional Communitarian Services for Emergency Situations are subordinate to the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (GIES) and provide - in their areas of competence - guidance and control of prevention and management of emergencies.
The Operative Centres for Emergency Situations are organised at ministerial level. The other central public institutions with responsibilities in the unitary management of emergencies are organised at municipal level (except Bucharest Municipality), city and commune levels. These centres can have a permanent character (for those ministries/institutions with complex functions within the National Emergency Management System) or a temporary character (they become active only when requested, following the decision by the National Committee for Emergency Situations).