When a natural or man-made disaster strikes a particular area, very often emergency services and communications also get hit, hampering rescue and recovery efforts significantly. With this in mind, the EU-funded project 'Digital and innovative technologies for security and efficiency of first responders operation' (DITSEF) set out to enhance the efficiency of information gathering and sharing between first responders (FRs) and control centres to ensure optimal response and minimise trauma. Project members worked on supporting FRs through a network of sensors, localisation and communication systems, particularly in the event of large fires. The technology integrates the latest in indoor localisation, wireless communication, human interfaces, sensor equipment and other key innovations, facilitating data exchange with higher command levels. A series of laboratory experiments were performed on these technologies. Five workshops gathered end-user requirements, operational scenarios, and enabled the exchange of information on operations and procedures by various stakeholders. The dedicated events also disseminated project outcomes and the potential for take-up by end users. All these technologies were integrated into an easy-to-use wearable system for every FR. It provides technology for safer and more efficient navigation of FRs while on mission through constant monitoring of their changing location. FRs are fed commands by the control centre on the best and safest routes to complete their mission. The project team completed the proposed security solution and successfully tested it at a chemical plant and a large hotel area. This final demonstration was held in 2013 to validate end-user requirements for FRs. DITSEF delivered a cutting-edge security solution enabling FRs to carry out more reliable, safe and successful missions. The project should enhance the safety and security of EU citizens, and especially those working to ensure this is the case.
Emergency communication, indoor localisation, monitoring, public safety, innovative technologies, first responders