Overview

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services is the primary provider of fire and emergency services in Queensland (Australia).

Challenge

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services — the first responder to major disasters — was facing challenges of communication. The general public uses social media for communication when faced with natural calamities; however, the posts are not made by professionals and could lead to people making the wrong decisions in an emergency. QFES needed to find a cost-effective way to improve communications. It decided that the solution had to be mobile.

Solution

This mobile solution is a digital ecosystem available to all staff via an intuitive user smartphone interface that enables QFES to efficiently capture, deliver, aggregate, manage and disseminate first-response data for emergency response situation management.

The app is Apple iOS-based. The iPhone camera captures video, images and details of incidents in the application’s form fields. Each incident and the images and video attached to it are then geo-stamped with location coordinates and assigned to the specific user, aiding the corroboration of location information and powering the incident’s “heat map” at the Control Centre. The application also works in a fully-offline mode in situations where response staff are outside mobile coverage areas; the application synchronises with the back-end data repository immediately when the device re-enters mobile phone coverage.