Identifying First Responders Information Needs: Supporting Search and Rescue Operations for Fire Emergency Response

Identifying First Responders Information Needs: Supporting Search and Rescue Operations for Fire Emergency Response

Vimala Nunavath (Department of Information and Communication Technology, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway), Andreas Prinz (Department of Information and Communication Technology, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway) and Tina Comes (Department of Information and Communication Technology, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISCRAM.2016010102
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Abstract

At the onset of an indoor fire emergency, the availability of the information becomes critical due to the chaotic situation at the emergency site. Moreover, if information is lacking, not shared, or responders are too overloaded to acknowledge it, lives can be lost and property can be harmed. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to identify information items that are needed for first responders during search and rescue operations. The authors use an educational building fire emergency as a case and show how first responders can be supported by getting access to information that are stored in different information systems. The research methodology used was a combination of literature review, fire drills participation, and semi-structured interviews with first responders from different emergency organizations. The results presented are identified information items and an information model.
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Emergency Scenario

Emergencies can vary greatly. For each kind of emergency, responders require different information and procedures to handle them. In this paper, we concentrate on one specific case to illustrate how to identify information needs of first responders to manage search and rescue operations efficiently.

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