Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner, Victoria Australia

Emergency Services Agency deploys GT mobility solution to quickly obtain the ‘big picture’ impact of a major flooding event for improved emergency response

Business Challenge
The Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner (OESC) provides independent leadership for the Victorian emergency management sector and encourages partnerships across a wide range of organisations and communities.

When an emergency event occurs, the OESC sends out teams to assess the impact of the emergency on any affected communities.

These assessments, known as Rapid Impact Assessments (RIA), are initially conducted at a street or area level, where residential and community assets are identified and categorised. Once street level assessments have been reviewed, teams are dispatched to perform Primary and Secondary Impact Assessments.

RIAs are conducted using paper forms, which are faxed back to a central location for keying into spread sheets. This manual process meant that field data could take days to retrieve before it became available to use, while the data was fragmented and difficult to analyse from the top down. This delay made it difficult for Federal and State stakeholders to see the ‘big picture’ of the emergency and formulate the best possible response plan.
Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner (OESC) provides continually enhances the safety of all Victorians by providing independent leadership for the emergency management sector and encouraging partnerships across a wide range of organisations and communities.

Solution Overview
OESC realised that the Geomatic Technologies Field Mobile Computing (GT FMC) solution had the potential to streamline the RIA process. This would improve productivity and provide near real-time centralised information to better support decision making.

During the 2011 Victorian floods, GT was contacted by the OESC to configure and deploy GT FMC to facilitate the RIA process. Within 3 days, GT FMC enabled the OESC to record impact assessments on smart phones, attach supporting photos and location data via GPS (Global Positioning System).

The workflow contained in the existing forms was reproduced in the GT FMC mobile application, leading assessors through the assessment process and ensuring that the required information was correctly captured.

Assessments were sent back to a central server via 3G telecommunications. At the OESC, decision making was supported by a dashboard display that, in near real-time, charted progress and presented results on dynamically updated maps as assessments were being completed.

Outcomes

  • Field teams equipped with FMC achieved a 25% increase in the number of assessments completed per hour compared with paper-based methods.
  • GT FMC improved both the data accuracy and completeness of field information so that information could be relied upon for decision making.
  • GT FMC supported near real-time event analysis that led to improved levels of responsiveness and supported timely emergency planning.
  • OESC was up and running within 3 days with a mobility solution that exactly followed existing paper-based workflows.