The use of drones and other technologies during post-disaster interventions may increase the survival rate of potential victims. To enable the deployment and compatibility of these tools among different authorities involved in emergency management operations, the EU funded Search and Rescue project will establish an efficient synchronization framework which is managing the data, developed services and information flow between them.
Man-made and natural disasters, like the 2018 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, can result in people being trapped under debris of collapsed structures and may trigger further hazards, like fires. Interrupting the potential of this domino effect through a quick response after an emergency call can significantly prevent or reduce the risk of casualties.
Traditional means of victim location strongly rely on the senses and experience of the rescuers, who are sometimes supported by rescue-dogs. While dogs are highly effective in sniffing out disaster victims, they also need to take breaks in order to prevent a reduction of their sniffing capacities and are only available in limited numbers. On the other hand, technological progress already makes dedicated tools like sensors and drones available, which offer more valid and effective solutions in cases of post-disaster interventions. These may increase the survival rate, allowing faster and more precise interventions, thus increasing the probability of a successful rescue. Therefore, first responders and rescuers need specialized instrumentations, which are easily accessible and available at all times. Furthermore, these instrumentations will also need to meet stringent requirements in terms of detection accuracy, quick localization, and reduction of false alarms.
The compatibility of operational methods and tools used among different rescue teams is, however, still an issue to be resolved, which is hindering cooperation, coordination and information exchange.
These limitations will be addressed by the Search and Rescue project. Through a series of large-scale pilot scenarios, S&R will establish an efficient synchronization framework managing the data, developed services and information flow between the different authorities involved in emergency management operations. The framework will enable a supportive approach using a wider range of decision support features and monitoring systems. It will also provide first responders 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.
Divided into a total of 11 Work packages, the project will not only provide first responders with novel tools, technologies, guidelines and methods aimed at facilitating their operations but will also add new knowledge about field-validation of different tools, technologies and approaches involving first responders in (real-life) scenarios.
SYNYO is integrating its expertise and know-how in a number of ways and work packages, ranging from the implementation of interviews and workshops to support the overall need assessments and the identification of the role of civil society in crisis management to more technical aspects, like the design of the foreseen S&R platform. Furthermore, SYNYO will support the overall dissemination efforts of the project to reach as many first responders as possible.
In order to achieve its ambitious goals, the Search and Rescue project combines the experience and capacities of 28 complementary partners from 12 different countries, who will invest a total of 1038 person-months into the project. Coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens, the relevance of the project is further underscored by the active participation of 8 search and rescue organisations, like the Hellenic Rescue team. Starting in July 2020 the EU funded project, will run over a period of approximately three years, to be completed in June 2023.
Search and Rescue, First Responders, Drones, Disaster, Crisis, Crisis management, wearables, collapsed structures, earthquakes