Analysing Emergency Case Studies

The Start Point for NEXES

From the start of the NEXES RIA, the NEXES partners have been focused on producing evidence, lessons learned and best practices concerning emergency services, within Europe and beyond European borders, to highlight existing requirements, needs and gaps from the perspective of the NEXES end-user community. In this ordeal, particular emphasis was placed upon the adoption of IP-enabled technologies and services, such as voice, text, video, location, health and environmental data and automated warnings and alerts.

NEXES gathered case studies of different emergency situations within partner countries and current, yet nationally varying, organisational structures and set of operational practices, processes and procedures for handling and managing emergency incidents, and referencing them to emergency services’ statistics as well as already available research and related research projects. The data utilised relied mainly on already publicly available national evidence.

Across Europe and beyond, the current structures, processes and technologies adopted by emergency services determine the ways in which emergency calls are received and handled before help is dispatched. These models are greatly influenced by the way in which different emergency authorities and services are organised within the different countries. On the basis of the case examples and the current organisation of emergency services, NEXES presents a comprehensive summary that illustrates the current state and related challenges, solutions and further challenges in emergency response. These results were further categorised into organizational, behavioural, technological, economic, ethical and legal areas.

Typical technological and technical aspects are related to congestion, either that of telephone networks, PSAPs or radio networks. This concern was particularly present in large-scale emergency case studies, and also in visions of transmitting multimodal content such as videos, photos or other bandwidth consuming data. The overall lack of alternative means for sharing or obtaining information from emergencies was visible also in such crucial aspects as locating the caller and the incident. Due to the inaccuracy of cellular network triangulation, the accuracy and precision of the caller’s location still seems to remain as one of the biggest challenges of current emergency response activities. Across Europe and in Turkey, communications between citizens and PSAPs rely mainly on voice calls over Public Service Telephone Network (PSTN) or mobile networks. For example, close to none of the European countries provide the possibility to contact emergency services via IP-enabled channels.

Notions on the behavioural aspects of emergency response included pinpoint challenges related to both the reason and the possibility to contact and communicate with emergency services. Solutions should take into account such matters as the level of involvement in the emergency, being under stress when involved in an emergency; pre-emptive measures to prevent emergencies, education of citizens on the appropriate use of emergency services and the management of alternative channels and for communication.

Despite the importance of guaranteeing the possibility for any citizen to contact emergency services, there are several challenges related to the ethical and legal aspects of emergency response. Even with taking advantage of all possible information of the incident, it is important to ensure that the solutions respect citizens’ privacy, especially when being the victim of an accident. Tackling aspects like the public sharing of information in coordinated rescue activities and data privacy issues related to storing and transmitting information from smart devices, NEXES also emphasized the importance of secure and resilient connections as well as of local data protection infrastructure.

The organisational aspects of developing next generation emergency services include multiple challenges such as organising the PSAPs’ workflow addressing emergencies, improving interdisciplinary communication, making information flow more efficient, diversifying communication methods and improving information management. Specific solutions to address these issues are the opening and improving of communication channels and procedures between different authorities, rationalising the receiving of emergency reports, diversifying communication methods and procedures in terms of content and audience yet simplifying the used devices or terminals, defining procedures for data validation, enabling more direct connections by bypassing unnecessary communication links, removing tasks or procedures solvable by the technology, bringing more actors in the communication loop related to emergency management and including openly available information in the planning of emergency response activities.

With the case studies and evidence analysis produced, NEXES is able to address the many relevant aspects of Emergency Services and to collect measures of performance for benchmarking purposes, allowing to establish a baseline for knowledge of existing best practices and policies, as well as of gaps and challenges to be surpassed. A clear image of the work ahead is now at hand!

NEXES’s deliverable on Emergency Case Studies and Evidence Analysis is the responsibility of the NEXES partner POLAMK.

NEXES Reference Scenarios

The First NEXES RIA Deliverable

After five months of intense work, the NEXES RIA produced ten Reference Scenarios that addressed users’ requirements and expectations on the use of new IP-enabled technologies by emergency services and citizens.

The purpose of the NEXES Scenarios is to form the basis of the NEXES Campaigns of Demonstration as well as to assist with the framework of the NEXES system requirements and development effort and to support the NEXES testing and validation activities.

Ranging from small incidents to large-scale emergencies, the scenarios are based on real-world incidents identified by the NEXES end-user community. More than exact replications of experienced incidents, they rather expand and draw upon the themes, issues and, in some cases, specific circumstances raised therein.

The scenarios focus thus on key facets of the NEXES’s proposed functionality, including the accessibility afforded by Total Conversation capabilities, the utility of its enhanced location capabilities, the potential for using personal and environmental telematics in emergency response and the improved interoperability amongst Public Safety Answering Points, Emergency Response Organisations, First Responders and citizens, including those experiencing disability or special needs (elderly, tourists, early migrants).

As NEXES detailed the scenarios, a number of risks, limitations and considerations were addressed, involving the implementation of the NEXES System and its further adoption by emergency services and citizens. These include behavioural issues around uptake and use; legal and ethical aspects, particularly with regard to the access, use and storage of information; organisational requirements concerning process and protocol; functionality/end-user considerations; and accessibility features. Where possible, NEXES suggested appropriate means of addressing such concerns.

NEXES’s deliverable on Reference Scenarios is the responsibility of the NEXES partner WYP.

Next Generation Technologies in Emergency Services

NEXES Fosters Ample Debate on the Role Next Generation Technologies Play in Emergencies

nexesNEXES gave the perfect motto for the Ambulance and Emergency Physicians Association (AAHD) and the Dokuz Eylul University to organise the Symposium on the Next Generation Technologies in Emergency Services, on November 18th 2015. With more than 300 participants, this Symposium gathered representatives from emergency services, the scientific community and governmental decision-makers, as well as the media.

zeynepThe Symposium addressed developments in emergency and disaster health services, including the 112 single call number services in Europe and Turkey, and presented how and where the new technologies are being used for emergencies in Europe and Turkey. NEXES featured the Symposium as one of the EU-funded projects contributing to the adoption and implementation of next generation emergency services, by incorporating IP-enabled technologies in the communication, location, situational awareness and interoperability domains.

The Symposium on the Next Generation Technologies in Emergency Services is a perfect example of how the NEXES Research and Innovation Action has been encouraging the debate on the need and importance of incorporating novel technologies in emergency services, so as to enable enhanced capabilities for their intervention to society’s benefit.

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Marco Manso, NEXES project coordinator, prepared a video to introduce NEXES to the audience.

NEXES Announces New Advisors

The Italian Beta80 Company and the Belgian EVapp Project Share Their Expertise with the NEXES Advisory Board

The NEXES Consortium announced today that two new members have been selected to serve on the Action’s End-Users Advisory Board. The new members are the Italian Beta 80 company responsible for creating the EMMA PSAP system in Italy, represented by Mr. Bergonza Luca and Mr. Francesco Silanos, and the Belgian EVapp project aiming to develop a smartphone application to mobilise professional volunteers in emergencies, represented by the project’s coordinator Mr. Steven Vercammen.

Responsible for the steering and growth of the NEXES End-users Community, the NEXES End-users Advisory Board now counts with more than 30 enthusiastic members. The West Yorkshire Police (WYP) is the organisation responsible for coordinating the NEXES End-users Advisors in 14 countries across Europe, South America and the United States, and for leading the activities that promote the close involvement of this community with the NEXES Action and Partners.

NEXES Coordinator and Director of Innovation at RINICOM UK Marco Manso welcomed the new members to the NEXES End-Users Advisory Board, who bring with them a fresh perspective and a different personal approach. I know that their service and commitment will provide enormous benefits to the Advisory Board and the NEXES RIA as a whole.” NEXES Coordinator also added, “As our Board continues to evolve, we have been able to move forward and progress because of the diversity of our Advisors’ membership.”

NEXES’s Innovations Are a Valuable Support in Epidemics

Total Conversation, Enhanced Location and Improved Interoperability are Key to Deal with Infectious Diseases

tepecikNEXES was presented by the Ambulance and Emergency Physicians Association (AAHD) at the 6th Tepecik Infection Days Congress, held in Dalaman-Muğla from November 6th to 8th 2015. Organised by the Infectious Diseases Association, the Congress involved more than 100 participants, mostly experts in the infectious diseases domain and governmental decision-makers.

Of the two addresses AAHD made to the plenary, one presentation focused directly the “New Technologies in Ebola Management” and highlighted the impact innovations to be brought by NEXES – total conversation communication, enhanced location and improved interoperability – account for, in the face of epidemic outbreaks, especially concerning the involvement of citizens and the coordination of different emergency services and multinational agencies.

NEXES’s presence at the 6th Tepecik Infection Days Congress is part of the motivated dissemination and communication effort of the NEXES RIA, with the purpose of building awareness on the impact NEXES’s novel capabilities bring about, before key stakeholders, such as public health decision-makers and the infectious diseases’ specialists community.

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NEXES RIA Hits First Major Milestone

NEXES Announces First Milestone in Effort to Develop Next Generation Emergency Services

The NEXES Consortium announces that a significant milestone has been reached in the research and innovation effort to develop the next generation emergency services. Today, the NEXES Consortium held the Milestone 1 meeting, presenting the work conducted thus far with respect to the status quo of emergency models, reference scenarios, user requirements and key performance indicators, based on the extensive contributions of the NEXES End-User Community.

This work is instrumental to move forward to the NEXES RIA’s development phase, where the design and architecture of the NEXES System will be defined and implemented, a pan-European Emergency App standard established and a Testing Regime and Validation Framework created to assess the value and benefits of next generation emergency services, with total conversation capabilities, enhanced location features and improved interoperability qualities. Once the Initial NEXES Prototype and the Advanced NEXES Prototype are ready for deployment, increasingly challenging pilots will be conducted to validate NEXES’s positive impact in emergency services across Europe and beyond.

“I am proud of the outstanding work that has been carried out by the NEXES Consortium and I want to thank the each member of the team who created the NEXES’s first deliverables. Being the Coordinator of this endeavour and a participating part of the team that obtained a European mandate to create the next generation emergency services is one of the most gratifying achievements in my professional career, and I am looking forward for this research and innovation action to come to fruition.”, said Mr. Marco Manso, the Director of Innovation at RINICOM UK and NEXES Coordinator.

Success for NEXES Initial Concept Validation Workshop

NEXES Workshop Unites Emergency Services Stakeholders in Finland

NEXES Initial Concept Validation Workshop brought together a group of more than 25 dynamic professionals in the academia, public service and industry domains dealing with emergency services in Tampere, Finland, on November 3rd 2015.

The NEXES Team, led by the Police University College (POLAMK), orchestrated the exclusive 1-day workshop, which focused specifically on the challenges facing emergency services as they strive to integrate the new IP-based technologies. The workshop was structured to address 4 areas that are considered essential to achieving NEXES success: Current Structures, Processes and Technologies in Today’s Emergency Services, NEXES Reference Scenarios, NEXES User Requirements and NEXES Key Performance Indicators. To outreach and engage the local emergency services community, Marko Nieminen, the Director of the Emergency Response Centre Services at the Emergency Response Centre Administration (ERCA), was invited as VIP guest speaker to present the development of the emergency response centre services in Finland, as they innovate the 112 Finnish model to change from 15 centres to a 6-centre network and to one virtual PSAP and to adopt a new technological system with eCall, total conversation, social media and advanced mobile location. Details of the ERICA System were disclosed by INSTA DefSec, a partner of the NEXES Consortium.

Both speakers and attendees shared their experienced views throughout the NEXES Workshop, contributing to the success of the event as significant connections and learning were made. A professionally-executed blend of leading next generation ideas and deep personal interaction, the success of the inaugural NEXES Workshop inspired innovation, creativity and ambition and leaves the best references to the upcoming Workshop next year.

NEXES Features POLAMK’s Review Research

The NEXES RIA is presented at the newest edition of POLAMK’s Review Research publication as a new research and development initiative awarded by the European Commission, under the Horizon 2020 framework.

Research Review is the Police University College’s English-language yearly review of the current research issues.

You may access it at: http://www.polamk.fi/instancedata/prime_product_julkaisu/intermin/embeds/polamkwwwstructure/39545_researchreview_1_2015.pdf?a49c9681cac8d288