Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New emergency response system helps fight disasters

11.05.2004


In densely populated Europe, environmental and industrial disasters endanger thousands of peoples’ lives every year, causing enormous disruption to civil infrastructures. Frequently emergency services struggle to react in time and control a fast-developing situation. IST project EGERIS was intended to increase the safety and the efficiency of civil protection organisations and authorities involved in risk management operations.

EGERIS was completed in December 2003 with demonstrations of working information and communication systems that combined the technologies of GPS, GSM, PMR (Professional Mobile Radio) and other technologies. The system allows emergency services to have, in real time, an up-to-date knowledge of the situation in order to take the right decision to minimise the consequences of the disaster.

Fast and effective communications critical



"Our goal is to provide communications systems and tools that would help rescue teams during emergency operations," says project coordinator Martine Couturier of EADS Defence and Security Systems in France. The objective of EGERIS is to provide the action chain to be used during the operations when a disaster is declared. The system links all the people in charge of taking actions for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

EGERIS concepts are implemented in a common generic architecture, compatible with the legacy systems and independent of network systems. Developments are oriented to maximise high availability, timeliness and responsiveness, security performance, interoperability, standardisation and the ergonomics of the system. Extensive field trials in various countries (France, Italy and Czech republic) by end-users have proved the operability of the system.

Project participants developed the EGERIS system therefore not only with several of the most common applications already fully integrated, but also with the ability to integrate with other applications as necessary.

In case of large-scale emergencies, one of the most frequent problems facing rescue teams in the field is knowing the whereabouts of the various team members. "With a major fire, there are so many men in the field that it can be difficult for the command centre to know where everyone is and to keep them safe. Especially when such fires could be driven by 100 kilometre per hour winds," says Couturier.

The EGERIS architecture is based on the idea of initial alerting and response from a fixed control centre, with mobile command centres set up as necessary to direct the rescue teams from within the proximity of the disaster area. Field crews are equipped with small-scale devices such as PDAs, GSM/GPRS mobile phones and GPS, providing fast voice/data communications and position location for each member of the team.

The benefits of such an approach are obvious. Instant communications between all the members of the disaster response teams provides the control centres with real-time coverage of the extent of a disaster and how it is progressing. This information is vital to enable the command centre to direct resources to the best effect, to take control of the situation and to put a recovery plan into action.

Tested in disaster scenarios across Europe

The EGERIS system was tested in three different locations and disaster scenarios across Europe; fighting forest fires in the Var region of southern France, dealing with potential earthquakes in the region around Modena, Italy, and controlling flooding around the river Odra in the eastern Czech Republic.

In the Var fire brigade headquarters, based in Draguignan, around 100 firemen were trained to use the EGERIS tools. Some 12 exercises were carried out, in an area frequently threatened by fire hazards, over a six week period during June and July 2003. Some 10 to 15 vehicles and 25 firemen were mobilised for each exercise.

The initial response group consisted of six vehicles, each vehicle equipped with a PDA and GPS-based navigation tools. Staff in the mobile command centre were able to see in almost real time the exact position of each GPS-equipped vehicle, enabling better direction of team efforts and ensuring the safety of the crews on the ground.

For the Modena trials in Italy, the exercises were carried out during three days in the Pavullo area in September 2003. The exercises were organised so as to represent the whole command chain for three main functions; road network survey, macro seismic survey and building damage assessment. Some 10 civil protection and seismic survey officials were trained in the use of the EGERIS tools.

The scenario used was that Pavullo is shaken by an earthquake of 5.9 magnitude. An estimated damage scenario was downloaded into the EGERIS system, while field teams were sent out to survey the road network and simultaneously a macro seismic survey carried out.

The field teams, equipped with PDAs and GPRS mobile phones, collected data from the field and transferred it immediately to the command centre. The command centre was then able to see, based on actual data, the real extent of any damage and from this develop an effective recovery plan. EGERIS proved that it can significantly improve the efficiency of field teams in charge of assessing damage and collecting data.

In the Czech Republic, trials were carried out at the beginning of September 2003 in the emergency call centre of the Ostrava fire brigade. Ostrava is the capital of the Moravian-Silesian region, and suffered severe flooding for 14 days in 1997. The Czech trial was based on the experience and the data gained from these floods.

Following a period of heavy and continuous rainfall, EGERIS created a list of the contacts who should be informed, sent automatically to various emergency planning centres the water flow rates obtained from rainfall-runoff modelling software at the Odra river basin authority, and provided a quick prediction of the flood potential based on historical data.

Emergency planning staff, who are able to see on their PCs an entire overview of the area at risk, were able to plan evacuation routes that would not be blocked by floods. EGERIS brought significant support to the key actors responsible for managing the crisis, and allowed them to share their own computer data with the other organisations involved.

The project partners have now developed the system into a marketable product. It has also produced a CD-ROM showing the results of the three trials. Available in English, and soon also in Czech, French, German, Italian and Spanish, the CD-ROM includes photos and short videos of the EGERIS-equipped emergency teams in action, as well as data on the system itself.

Contact:
Martine Couturier
EADS Defence & Security Systems
France
Tel: +33-1-34637351
Fax: +33-1-34637920
Email: martine.couturier@sysde.eads.net
Source: Based on information from EGERIS

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&ID=65016

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

nachricht Product placement: Only brands placed very prominently benefit from 3D technology
07.07.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>