Topic: SU-DRS02-2018-2019-2020 – Technologies for first responders
Apart from earthquakes that usually result to catastrophic structural collapses, with many people entrapped or killed (e.g. Indonesia 2018, Japan 2011, Haiti 2010, Italy 2009, Greece 1999), there are also other causes that may result into a building’s collapse, such as an accidental explosion or a terrorist attack (e.g. 9/11) in public areas or critical infrastructures (airports etc.). Moreover, natural disasters like earthquakes may trigger technological disasters, such as industrial chemical release or even fires; this dynamic or “domino effect”, as it is called may pose tremendous risks to the countries and communities and hence it is a great challenge to cope with by the first responders and relevant organizations of civil protection. First responders and rescuers need specialized instrumentations, available to all times, easily accessible that meet stringent requirements in terms of detection accuracy, quick localization, and reduction of false alarms.
The S&R project will design, implement and test through a series of large scale pilot scenarios a highly interoperable, modular open architecture platform for first responders’ capitalising on expertise and technological infrastructure from both COncORDE and IMPRESS FP7 projects. The governance model of S&R will be designed to operate more effectively and its architectural structure will allow to easily incorporate next generation R&D and COTS solutions which will be possibly adopted in the future disaster management systems. The Model will also support a unified vision of the EU role and will provide a common framework to assess needs and integrate responses. The framework will enable supportive approach using a wider range of decisional support features and monitoring systems and will also give to first responders an effective and unified vision of (a) the dynamic changes going on during event’s lifetime and (b) the capabilities and resources currently deployed in the field.
The key objective of S&R is to develop and promote the underlying framework (interoperability amogst systems and equipment, training and awareness) so that responders at all levels of command have access, familiarise and evaluate how to deploy innovative solutions. Research and development will continue to produce innovative products, which have to respond to ever growing threats in a globalised environment, and the S&R approach is how to optimally integrate them as on-demand tools in a holistic governance model. The major challenge addressed is to link approaches, technical solutions, procedures, standards etc. for the protection of the European citizen as defined in the European Internal Security Strategy thus allowing for a faster and more appropriate response to natural, technological and man-made threats in EU countries and if needed abroad. The S&R project aspires to demonstrate a consistent Crisis Governance model, naturally supported by the toolbox concept, covering the role that Europe intends to adopt subsequent to the implementation of the new Lisbon Treaty and also considers a stronger civil-military mutual support (technologies, operations) and public private coordination. Emergency responders from multiple entities organise themselves “on the field”, according to existing procedures, different training means and unsorted equipment at local or national level when they are in place. These procedures, training means or equipment are not standardised, homogeneous and or supplied between the various organisations and nations, and no system vision exists to bring coherency, efficiency and perfect-control. Some crucial gaps in crisis environment response have been identified by the EC [e.g. COM(2011)696, COM(2010)600, COM(2009)82], as well as lessons learnt from past emergencies, and it is at this level that S&R aspires to make a difference using state of the art technological solutions.
The impact of S&R towards the international crisis management community will be related to disseminating a new governance concept, which combined with the technological solutions that will be presented by the consortium is related to: