SIGNAL ONLINE – AFCEA – November 2014
Portugal offers a system for emergency responders that simulates disasters as they unfold.
“Emergency responders may be able to anticipate unfolding disasters before they have to respond, as a result of a new system that combines situational input with simulation. When floodwaters are rising or a fire is spewing toxic fumes, emergency personnel can simulate in real time how the threat might expand and evolve and plan their responses accordingly.
The system incorporates modules that allow it to simulate and predict how a disaster scenario might evolve. Different emergency response groups can use it to coordinate activities. With its situational awareness inputs, this permits responders to stay a step ahead of an unfolding disaster while ensuring an efficient, coordinated response during and after the emergency.
Known as the System for Advanced Field Emergency Operations, or SAFER, the system can be used by firefighters, police, armed forces and other rescue groups to view a common operational picture. Built by Tecmic, Porto Salvo, Portugal, SAFER already is in use in several locations throughout Portugal and is designed to be adapted to other nations’ requirements.
Joao Reis Barata, Tecmic’s CEO, explains that SAFER represents the evolution of an earlier system known as 4Forces. This technology monitored earth, air, fire and water to generate a common situational awareness picture. It provides vital information for decision-making when dealing with fires, earthquakes, toxic fumes, chemical spills into waterways or floods. Each threat requires a different type of response, Barata points out, and earthquakes and their aftershocks cannot be predicted.
SAFER integrates information for all these scenarios from diverse sources ranging from weather systems to field video cameras. This vital data is input automatically into SAFER, Barata says, and this eliminates the time-consuming task of inputting this data during an emergency.
Read the full article at www.afcea.org