2019 Wildfire Conference. Adressing the Challenges of Bushfire Management
Presentations Notes 2019: DAY 1 (Day 2 - Wednesday Nov. 13th, 2019).
Engagement of first responders in the design of and development of innovative technology.
Presenting Author: Jordi Vendrell (Pau Costa Foundation)
Authors: Jordi Vendrell, Núria Prat, Benjamin Barth, Laia Estivill, Daniel Milla, Solange Martínez
Challenges and opportunities to improve emergency management. Emergency services often collect data about the emergency events in order to compile useful information that helps improve the emergency deployment: post-events analyses, research, lessons learnt extraction, etc. Currently, there are not standardised methods to collect data and information about incidents events at a European level nor at national levels within Europe. Each emergency service has its own data collection activities and analyses depending on the types of resources (i.e. personnel, technology), tools available for data collection and level of knowledge. A standardised data collection would help creating larger datasets compiling similar information from emergency events across Europe, and the world, with a clear benefit for all the actors that use the data to improve emergency management (e.g. emergency managers, researchers, policy makers, technology developers and industry at large) (Prat et al., 2019).
In general, the emergency services are facing a small number of emergency events of high complexity and a large number of emergency events of low complexity. While the later are not complex enough to trigger mechanisms to identify lessons learnt or generate incident reports or data collection processes, the most complex crisis situations are the events where the more valuable and unique information can be captured. Nonetheless, complex crises usually introduce a high level of stress into the decision-making mechanisms, which also derive into difficulties to collect data and identify lessons learnt during the first stages of the post-event phase. This situation leads to a lack of data collection, knowledge compilation and transfer from emergency managers to other actors.
Applications of the research for fire and landscape management. The current work helps defining a better collaborative strategy to work with emergency managers and use data from emergency events to create useful innovative technologies and research. The participation of emergency managers in the different project phases strengthens the relationship between a wide range of sectors, disciplines and actors involved in disaster risk management that are currently not sufficiently connected during the planning and management of complex crisis situations. This participation and involvement of emergency managers through interviews, meetings, workshops and questionnaires helps first responders to engage with new solutions, but more importantly, pushes them to formalise their knowledge (gained through previous experiences) and capitalise it.