Search and Rescue: Introducing the pilot scenarios, to test and refine a platform for first responders.
The Search and Rescue (SnR) project will design, implement and test, through a series of large-scale pilot scenarios, a highly interoperable, modular open architecture platform for first responders, to increase their interoperability and effectiveness during search and rescue operations. Seven pilot scenarios have been defined, which will be implemented later during the project to refine and validate the developed platform and tools in a real-life setting.
The SnR project will accelerate search and rescue operations by increasing the compatibility of operational methods and tools among different rescue teams. This will be achieved through the development of a highly interoperable, modular open architecture platform for first responders, such as firefighters or medics, who will be provided with a wider range of decisional support features and monitoring systems. Overall, first responders will be provided with 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.
In order to validate the platform in a “real world” setting and further adapt it to the practical needs of the respective first responder groups and technologies deployed, seven polit scenarios will be implemented by the project, each focusing on a different potential crisis scenario. By highlighting the potential of the SnR platform during search and rescue operations, the pilot scenarios will also be used to prove its impact and value to the broader area of crisis management and ensure the early adoption of the “close to market” version.
The pilot scenarios
Each of the seven pilot scenarios, which will be implemented in six different countries, focuses on the simulation of a crisis situation, like a plane crash or chemical substance spill, during which the SnR platform and other technologies will be deployed.
The first pilot will take place in Italy and focus on the simulation of an earthquake scenario. A series of ad-hoc situations will be implemented, like people trapped under rubble or blocked roads, which could prevent traditional vehicles to reach the area.
During the second pilot, a plane crash will be simulated in the mountains of Greece. Focusing on the difficulties faced by traditional search and rescue operations in isolated non-urban areas, to evaluate the potential of the SnR platform in such circumstances.
The third pilot scenario will emphasise the often cross-border nature of search and rescue operations, involving practitioners from Austria and Germany. Here a blackout resulting from heavy storms and earthquakes, leading to the collapse of secure communication infrastructures, will be simulated.
Pilot scenario number four will be implemented in the Attica region, Greece. The simulation will focus on a quickly expanding forest fire threatening to reach an industrial zone. Special emphasis will be placed on remote sensing technologies, due to simulated heavy smoke produced by the fire.
In France a crisis-situation where victims have been trapped under rubble, due to collapsing structures, will be simulated in pilot scenario five. The scenario will take place in the INSARAG approved training facility of the International Emergency Firefighters.
Taking place in Romania the sixth pilot scenario will focus on post-disaster recovery. Emphasis will be placed on standardised training on how to respond in the aftermath of a chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear disaster.
The final pilot scenario will be executed in Spain, near Madrid. In the scenario a simulated accident in a factory has led to a chemical spill and collapse of the building, threatening the health of the factory workers.
During each of the pilots a detailed system performance assessment of the SnR platform and technologies will be implemented, while surveys and interviews with the participants of the pilot will also be organised. The obtained feedback will be structured and analysed, in order to further increase the practicality and effectiveness of the technologies, platform and guidelines, which represent the core outcomes of the SnR project.
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