Search & Rescue: A European project tests innovative technologies
for search and rescue operations

Madrid, 08:45: a 5.5 magnitude earthquake shakes the whole city, having a special incidence in a residential building area, near a hospital. As a consequence of this event, a chemical hazard incident occurred, in addition to the damage to several buildings.

The Search & Rescue project is a large EU-funded research project composed of 28 partners from 12 European countries, that started in 2020 & ending in 2023. The exercise took place on December 15, 2022, & is the 7th & last use case designed to test innovative solutions across various lifelike scenarios using real-like conditions (including to improve the operational, safety & rescue procedures in this type of incident, & practice on the interoperability of the communication systems).

The exercise has been organized at the local level by both the Escuela Española de Salvamento y Deteccion con Perros (Spanish School of Rescue & Detection with Dogs) & the Servicio de Urgencia Médica de la Comunidad de Madrid – SUMMA 112 (Emergency Medical Service of the Community of Madrid – SUMMA 112), & mobilized more professionals from GIRECAN firefigthers, Protección Civil & Municipal Police of Villaviciosa de Odón, VIGILES Institute of formation for firefighters, and CBRN unit of SUMMA112, for a total of around 100 persons involved in the two scenarios (response to (i) a semi-collapsed structure & (ii) chemical spills).

The following innovative technologies & equipment have been tested:

  • Concorde EMS & Associated module/services: software platform to ensure coordination & decision processes (by konnektable – KT)
  • Emergency communication app (by KT).
  • DSS (decision support system): to estimate the number of victims & required responders – real-time resource allocation with machine-learning algorithms (by KT, National Research Centre of Italy – CNR; National Technical University of Athens – NTUA)
  • Wearable GPS tracker: to ensure GPS tracking despite the loss of network connectivity (by the University of Cagliari – Unica)
  • Six Gas Hazmat Monitor: to detect, monitor & protect from toxic threats (by UniCa).
  • Smartwatches: to ensure messaging, heart rate monitoring & alert functions (by KT)
  • Uniform prototype and children device: to ensure the safety of rescuers & victims (by the University of Florence – UNIFI)
  • Synthetic human odours with the canines: to detect the most stimulating odours (by NTUA)