Innovative mobile technology will assist one of the world’s largest emergency response agencies by improving data collection after disasters
Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW), a State Government agency based in Sydney, Australia, has awarded a contract to RunMobile, the app development and mobility strategy practice of Run Consultants, to license and deploy its mobile application for post-disaster damage assessment and data collection.
FRNSW is one of the world’s largest urban fire and rescue services and is the busiest in Australia. They are involved in the response and recovery phases of most emergency or disaster events throughout NSW. Grant funding from the Australian Government is being used to support licensing of the application. In 2012, NSW’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force, which is led by FRNSW, achieved accreditation from the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).
The RunMobile Damage Assessment Reporting Solution (DARS) enables users in the field to collect, store and analyze damage assessment data following natural and man-made disasters. The app is easily downloaded to any smartphone or tablet, and provides a form-driven data collection process to ensure consistent, detailed and expedited damage reporting.
Other benefits of DARS:
• Provides off-line data entry capabilities
• Conforms to agency damage assessment templates
• Integrates to device cameras, allowing picture and video recording of damage
• Integrates to GPS technology for precision in damage mapping
• Improves situational awareness by increasing efficiency in the field and improving collaboration with EOC and other agencies
• Facilitates end-to-end automation from damage assessment to response initiation, command and control to backend supply chain initiation and analytics
DARS works on all major mobile platforms. FRNSW will use DARS on rugged tablets powered by Windows 8.
“Much of our reporting today is done with pen and paper, which is time consuming and requires duplicate data entry. Using the DARS mobile app to collect and report data in real-time, we can speed damage assessments and improve our responsiveness to our citizens,” said Fire & Rescue NSW Chief Superintendent John Denny, Assistant Director Specialised Operations.
“Post-disaster damage assessment is an international need that is well suited to our technology,” said Bob Bailey, Managing Principal, Run Consultants. “We’re pleased that FRNSW will be utilizing the same app already used today by many US states and municipalities.”