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A holistic approach towards the development of the first responder of the future

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Improved crisis emergency response

There is a need for improving crisis response operations of large-scale disasters. An EU initiative created a management system to make rescue events safer and more effective.


Minimising the danger and confusion of emergency rescue operations, via a centralised management system, would make the first responder (FR) role more effective. Both rescuers and rescuees would be safer. With EU funding, the project E-SPONDER (A holistic approach towards the development of the first responder of the future) developed and demonstrated a prototype management system that optimises resources, communications and the placement of people to achieve the best operational outcome at lowest cost. Overall, the aim was to ensure that no preventable physical or psychological injury befalls any FR, or other emergency personnel, whether during the emergency or after it. Work began with a review of the current state of the art together with an analysis of user requirements. The architecture and design of the integrated system were defined, followed by testing of the interoperable wireless communication system. Project members designed an e-training platform for the emerging training needs of FRs in various contexts. They also set up an initial framework of EU standardisation for common information and communication technology to assist FRs. Three full-scale field trials simulated realistic emergencies and crises involving more than 50 FRs for each demonstration. The pilot demonstrations helped to develop and refine particular aspects of the technology. E-SPONDER introduced an efficient emergency system for FRs on the ground to better cope with all kinds of sudden events during crises occurring in critical infrastructures or elsewhere. Performance of emergency response will be improved, and the lives of FRs and civilians will be spared.


Emergency response, large-scale disasters, emergency rescue, first responder, E-SPONDER

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