Next-generation equipment tools and mission-critical strategies for First Responders

The aim of RESPOND-A is to leverage First Responders efficiency and safety by introducing a joint technological and conceptual framework for maximal Situational Awareness in terms of boosting Early Assessment, Safety Assessment and Risk Mitigation capabilities together with the clear Common Operational Picture and the optimal management of operations at any scaling and complexity of disasters.

In this respect, the RESPOND-A project was established to create immediate access to technological advancements for First Responders and sets its proposal focus within designing and implementing network-enabled tools and innovative equipment that will entail continuous security and Safety Assessment along with situational-wide monitoring capabilities to the Responders for resolving those gaps under all the three hazard types mentioned previously. The uprising focus of the intended tools and equipment will lay within dimensioning the holistic viewpoint and management of the disaster incident in real-time via familiar to First Responders devices (i.e. personal smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.), without the assistance of neither specialised personnel or telecommunication service providers. The consequential benefits of this approach are that First Responders will deploy:

  • Pre-disaster planning with seamless Early Assessment of the location, scale, severity and nature of risks, hazards, damages at the Regions of Interest, supported by dedicated portable communication network system that can be rapidly and autonomously installed as closer to the disaster area;
  • On-scene planning with enhanced Safety Assessment and optimal Risk Mitigation strategies for unified management of multiple different co-operated Responder organisations, supported by Augmented Reality (AR) / Mixed Reality (MR) empowered monitoring and threat analysis, and automated drone coordination;
  • Post-disaster planning of multiple layers of safety at all stages of the crisis lifecycle, supported by the imagery, video and photogrammetry data gatherings from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and ground robots, which facilitates the detailed forensics, documentation and investigation, and the 2D mapping or 3D model creation of the scene, and helps addressing any shortcomings or aid in improvements for future missions.

0 infinity contribution

0INF contribution to the Respond-A project is a novel VR tool composed of three different parts. One section is focused on practicing the manipulation of related pieces of equipment. And two others focused on training for situational awareness, reaction time and working under pressure. The system uses a mixture of timed questions, multiple choice questions and manipulation exercises, where the users must directly interact with objects of the virtual world using hand tracking. To realise these interactions novel gestures were designed and built to support certain actions such as holding, opening and closing the hosepipe to extinguish the fire. To make this tool easy to use but also as dynamic as possible, we implemented novel gamified elements such as a scoreboard with a novel scoring system that is an extension of the TrueMatch system proposed by Microsoft. Also, the dynamic implementation of the training questions and environmental variables allows to bring a sense of unpredictability to the tool. Finally, a paper was submitted at the IoT4 conference.

Demonstration of first responder VR training

Technical Achievements
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