Anvil Technologies
Emergency Management & Public Safety
The First Responders' Challenge
RECoN™ Integrated Solution
EMSCoN™ - Satellite Communications
Voice Interoperability
Technology Enabled Distance Counseling
Trailer Mounted Communications Tower (TrailerCam)
Overt Surveillance System (OSS)
Black Coral
The Challenge

First Responders at major incidents operate in an environment of severely reduced situational awareness. Smaller incidents involving few Responders simply require one individual giving orders and a handful of others following those orders. For example, suppressing a single automobile fire, although still potentially dangerous, does not necessitate much management. Larger incidents necessitate more extensive management and, of necessity, a form of triage. One person cannot conceivably give all orders required to control a major natural or manmade incident, and deal immediately with all the pending emergencies. As an incident spirals from small to large, a dynamic management structure must also evolve. This structure must evolve rapidly in order to stay abreast of a rapidly changing situation. Keeping First Responders abreast of changes in the structure is a significant issue for a communications system.

At the Incident Site, The Incident Commander's ultimate duty is to protect the safety and health of civilians, First Responders and other emergency workers on the scene while attempting to mitigate the event and save property and the environment. This can be a major challenge due to the potential of civilian casualties, the large number of emergency personnel committed to the scene, a large geographic incident area or building structures and dimensions.

The Incident Commander is responsible for directing the overall strategy and tactics used to safely mitigate an event. Incident Commanders are tasked with making definite decisions and delivering orders to Sector Officers in seconds, they do not have the luxury of minutes or hours. The value of Information diminishes with age, leaving potential for error. Inadequate and/or late information may cause wrong decisions to be made.

Serious problems can occur when the Incident Commander attempts to deliver the strategy and tactics to the Sector Officers and other personnel:

Directions that are given to Sector Officers may be misinterpreted or impossible to complete. However, the Incident Commander may not realize this until minutes pass and the Sector Officer reports back. During this time, lives may be placed in jeopardy;
The tasks the Incident Commander thinks the Responders are performing and what is actually occurring may be totally different;
The Incident Commander may issue instructions that on face value appear to be easy to perform but in practice are really difficult to accomplish;
If a Responder goes missing, it is necessary to know precisely the location of their entry into an event. This information may be critical to their safety and recovery. The current onsite Personnel Accountability System could be enhanced beneficially by a visual image of entry control points into Hot Zones (dangerous areas);
In the event of a catastrophic event such as a structural collapse or explosion, there is no recording available that would provide the Incident Commander a playback to allow an analysis of the situation or a visual means of identifying who was directly involved or seriously impacted;
Updates to Senior Emergency Management staff not on scene can be untimely and/or not totally comprehended as expected;
In the event that industry experts or government agency assistance is required, it is sometimes a challenge to convey the necessary perspective of the event over a telephone; and
On some occasions, when an expert or agency is required at the site, travel time may take hours.

The overall problem is that although competent people are attempting to communicate, verbal media alone is often not reliable, can involve delays and consumes valuable decision-making time.

Asset Tracking

In addition, the tracking of physical assets at an incident can also provide challenges. Whether it's a small but valuable piece of equipment or a large vehicle, First Responder teams need to know that the asset is on site; where it's being used and if necessary, redeploy it elsewhere; if it's being taken out of the incident site; and at the end of the incident, that it's been checked in and retuned into inventory.


Please contact Anvil Technologies for further details.