End-Users Analysis

Led by POLAMK, the End-Users Analysis and Adoption Strategies (WP2) aims at the identification, collection and analysis of existing practices, requirements, needs and gaps of emergency services, as well as the production of reference scenarios, user requirements and key performance indicators (KPIs) fitted for next generation emergency services.
A variety of public and publicly available information sources is used, including the available public research information from EENA’s surveys, past and on-going EU funded research projects, case studies and reports.

The work carried out in WP2 – End-Users Analysis and Adoption Strategies for NEXES is centred in the following tasks:

  • Task 2.1 – Emergency Case Studies and Evidence Analysis;
  • Task 2.2 – Reference Scenarios Definition;
  • Task 2.3 – User Requirements, Needs and Gaps;
  • Task 2.4 – Key Performance Indicators;
  • Task 2.5 – Recommendations for the Adoption of NEXES (not yet started).


Task 2.1 – Emergency Case Studies and Evidence Analysis
Led by POLAMK, this task used already available research, case studies and surveys to gather evidence, lessons learned and best practices of emergency services, with a particular emphasis on the adoption of IP-enabled technologies and services, including voice, text, video and embedded location, health and environmental data and automated warnings and alerts. In addition to current organisational structures and set of operational practices, processes and procedures for handling and managing emergency incidents, NEXES addressed the citizens’ behaviour towards emergency services in emergencies, including individuals experiencing disabilities or special needs. Case studies and evidence covering all relevant aspects of emergency services, namely organisational, human, technological, economic, ethical, and legal, enabled measures of performance to be collected for benchmarking purposes. Emergency case studies and evidence analysis established the baseline knowledge of existing best practice and policies, as well as of gaps and challenges to be surpassed.

POLAMK prepared the surveys that enabled NEXES end-users partners to collect data on emergency services’ processes and technologies. NEXES partners provided local or national case examples of easy, normal and challenging nature, with particular emphasis on IP-enabled technologies and services. The collected case examples were analysed with special attention towards citizens, namely those experiencing disability or special needs. Selected case examples and notions were based on past and ongoing EU-funded research projects to highlight systematic evidence of current best practices, lessons learned, challenges, needs and gaps. In addition, information was gained about topics addressed in previous projects and activities (i.e. whether these examples have been noted in other projects, what kinds of solutions have been proposed or actions taken having these solutions or actions been successful, have they already been applied in emergency response services).

Furthermore, a thorough analysis of the Directives and Amendments related to emergency response in Europe was performed, followed by an overview of the current state and policies for the use of the 112 emergency phone number in Europe. Current models of emergency services were recognised, specifically the 5 (+1 variant) PSAP models as compiled by the European Emergency Number Association (EENA). All these PSAP models are represented in the NEXES Consortium.

psap_models
Organisation Models of Emergency Services in Europe

Subsequently, NEXES end-users partners provided information on their national emergency response services, namely applicable concept of operations (CONOPS) and statistics, covering Finland, France, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Based on the collected information on the current state of emergency response in Europe, it was then possible to establish a comprehensive set of requirements that clearly illustrated the current state, challenges and solutions in emergency response and were analysed in light of the improvements and innovations proposed by NEXES.

With the completion of the task’s activities, the attainment of the task’s objectives and the submission of Deliverable D2.1 – Current Structures, Processes and Technologies in Emergency Services, Task 2.1 is closed.

 

Task 2.2 – Reference Scenarios Definition

Under WYP’s aegis, this task used as input the results from Task 2.1 and selected and generated reference scenarios, focusing specifically on the use of new IP-enabled technologies and services (TC) and the diverse end-user requirements, needs and gaps, including PSAPs, EROs, FRs and citizens, including those with disabilities or special needs.

WYP prepared a template for NEXES partners to register specific emergency response situations that were of relevance to determine NEXES reference scenarios. Based on the extensive experience of the NEXES end-users community, a set of 10 reference scenarios were selected due to their specific adequacy to represent relevant emergency situations, where it was possible to address pressing users’ requirements and expectations on the use of new IP-enabled technologies and services for the benefit of emergency services and citizens. The scenarios were also played considering the current emergency services’ models and their likely emergency response. The table below presents the NEXES Reference Scenarios and their relation to the emergency services’ models:

NEXES Reference Scenarios
NEXES Reference Scenarios

The NEXES Reference Scenarios highlight the greatest possible breadth of NEXES’s capabilities, whilst remaining realistic and testable in real world conditions. Indeed they refer to numerous facets of NEXES’s proposed functionality, including the accessibility afforded by Total Conversation function, the utility of its enhanced location capabilities, the potential for using personal and environmental telematics in emergency response and the improved interoperability amongst PSAPs, EROs, FRs and citizens, including those experiencing (physical) disability or special needs (elderly, tourists, early migrants), enabled by the general adoption of the NEXES solution.

Similarly, the defined scenarios also helped to address a number of risks, limitations and additional considerations involving the implementation and adoption of NEXES. These included the behavioural domain on uptake and use; legal and ethical aspects, particularly with regard to access to, use of, and storage of information; organisational requirements concerning protocol; the functionality/end-user consideration; and accessibility. Where relevant, NEXES Reference Scenarios suggested means of addressing such concerns.

With the completion of the task’s activities, the attainment of the task’s objectives and the submission of Deliverable D2.2 – NEXES Reference Scenarios, Task 2.2 is closed.

 

Task 2.3 – User Requirements, Needs and Gaps

Under the responsibility of POLAMK, this task defined the user requirements, needs and gaps for the adaptation and use of new IP-based emergency services, specifically considering the viewpoints of emergency services’ personnel and citizens, including those experiencing disability or special needs. The information retrieved from tasks 2.1 and 2.2 is then added to that resulting from surveys and structured interviews with emergency services’ operators and management professionals. According to the general requirements of an emergency incident, detailed user requirements were elaborated. These requirements specified the needs in terms of the tasks to be performed; environment specificities; risks to be considered and avoided. It also accommodated the definition of requirements for an intuitive, easy-to-use and efficient user interface, allowing NEXES users to supervise and guide the NEXES System and Apps in emergency response.

POLAMK provided the NEXES end-users detailed instructions on the procedures to conduct structured interviews with selected emergency services personnel (operators and managers) and entities representing citizens with disability or special needs, in order to ascertain their requirements for the next generation emergency services. The interviews served as first-hand information on the end-users requirements and needs to accommodate the definition of requirements for an intuitive, easy-to-use and efficient user interface, allowing NEXES users to supervise and guide the NEXES System and Apps in emergency response.

In addition, the user requirements were elaborated based on the general requirements of emergencies and the NEXES’s focus on reduced response time, enhanced situation awareness, improved interoperability and accessibility by citizens, including those experiencing disability, impairment or special needs (elderly, tourists and non-native speakers). Identified requirements also specified the needs in terms of the tasks to be performed, environment specificities as well as risks to be considered and mitigated.

Implementing a qualitative approach, Task 2.3 produced eighty-one (81) NEXES user requirements, categorised in five contextual categories:

  • Contacting emergency services;
  • PSAPs call handling capabilities;
  • Communication with citizens;
  • Communication with First Responders; and
  • Other and overarching requirements.

These categories were also complemented with a total of nineteen (19) sub-categories: Telematics, Communicational barriers, Connection alternatives, Prioritisation, Customer satisfaction, Automated acquisition and validation of information, Information management, Resource allocation, Acquiring and validating information, Informing, Alerting, Instructing, Dispatching and coordination, Tools for FRs, Situational awareness, Engaging the public, Legal and ethical, PSAP professional expertise and Technical.

Further, each NEXES user requirement was assigned to perceived subsequent direct or immediate effects, associations or advantages (1st level effects) and user requirements can entail multiple immediate effects. It must be mentioned that both the NEXES User Requirements and their effects are closely interrelated. To illustrate the complexity of the interrelated nature between the NEXES User Requirements and their 1st and 2nd level effects, they are combined into the following Sankey diagram in the following figure.

nexes_user_requirements
The Interrelation of NEXES User Requirements and Their Effects

With the completion of the task’s activities, the attainment of the task’s objectives and the submission of Deliverable D2.3 – NEXES User Requirements, Task 2.3 is closed.

 

Task 2.4 – Key Performance Indicators

Under AIM’s responsibility, this task used as input the results from Tasks 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) that, considering the diverse aspects and stakeholders of emergency services, enable the gathering of comparable data to accommodate the evaluation of the NEXES’s impact on emergency systems and services.

AIM defined a set of questions referring to key performance indicators to be included in the survey template used in Task 2.3, in order to capitalise on the contacts being established with emergency services personnel and citizens. Based on the answers received, AIM created a new methodology that considers the diverse aspects and stakeholders of emergency services to enable the gathering of comparable data and accommodate the evaluation of the NEXES’s impact on emergency systems and services. The NEXES KPIs needed to be designed for wide applicability to diverse situations within and across national boundaries including differences in realisation of IP-based communication technologies and capabilities. In this context, the NEXES Reference Scenarios defined in Task 2.2 were instrumental to identify relevant KPIs for NEXES.

The comparison of NEXES KPIs, applied in different situations, or applied in the same situation at different points in time, needed to be supported. Consequently, the new methodology emphasised flexibility and comparability: the flexibility of the KPIs with regard to their application to different situations and the comparability of the KPIs with regard to their repeatability and explicit evaluation method.

NEXES identified a total of eleven (11) KPIs in the following processes:

  • Emergency Calls:

KPI#01: Contact Alternatives. Assessment of diversity in how the Emergency Services can be contacted.
KPI#02: Scalability. Assessment of impact of increasing number of calls to emergency services.
KPI#03: Call Handling. Assessment of how the call is processed, including forwarding the call.

  • Defining the Situation:

KPI#04:  Call validation. Assessment of validity of a call as an emergency call.
KPI#05:  Communication with Citizens. Assessment of the total conversation communication with callers, including citizens experiencing disability, impairment or special needs (elderly, tourists and non-native speakers).
KPI#06:  Information Management. Assessment of the accuracy of the acquired location and other incident information.

  • Coordinating Response Activities:

KPI#07:  Dispatching FRs. Assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of single- and multi-agency incident response.
KPI#08:  Communication to FRs. Assessment of timeliness and accuracy of interaction and sharing information with FRs from single and multiple agencies.

  • Communication to Citizens:

KPI#09:  Alerting. Assessment on the effectiveness and efficiency of providing information to the general public and specific groups of citizens.
KPI#10:  Instructing. Assessment on the effectiveness and efficiency of providing instructions to citizens involved in an incident to prevent further escalation, fatalities, and/or damages.

  • Customer Satisfaction:

KPI#11: Customer Satisfaction. Assessment of the perception of emergency services and citizens, including those experiencing disability, impairment or special needs, on the performance of the emergency services.

Each NEXES KPI was then defined by its relation to fifty-eight (58) effect measurements, which enable the assessment of the performance of NEXES and next generation emergency systems and services.
The principle “measure once, (re)evaluate many times” sets the basis for comparing NEXES KPI scores obtained from different situations within the NEXES Action, and beyond.

NEXES KPIs, Categories and Effect Measurements
NEXES KPIs, Categories and Effect Measurements

A number of guidelines were defined to support the application of the NEXES KPIs to a specific situation, for reporting on application of KPIs and for comparing KPIs applied to different situations. It is expected that NEXES, assessed by the NEXES KPIs, would exhibit a positive impact: reduced emergency response time, enhanced emergency situation awareness, improved emergency services’ interoperability and higher accessibility to emergency services by citizens. Moreover, the NEXES KPIs assist emergency services in preparing for the adoption of IP-based communication technologies and evolving towards next generation emergency services.

With the completion of the task’s activities, the attainment of the task’s objectives and the submission of Deliverable D2.4 – NEXES Key Performance Indicators, Task 2.4 is closed.

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