Final Demos for European Firefighting Simulation Held in Warsaw, The Hague
Wednesday, December 04, 2019 | Comments

The final demonstration held by the DRIVER+ project in Warsaw, Poland, and the Hague, the Netherlands, 26 – 28 November, achieved all its key goals, according to the organizers.

The three-day event saw players representing the different components of the European civil protection mechanism — firefighting module teams from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands and Austria; the Emergency Response Coordination Centre; and EU civil protection teams — simulate the deployment and use of firefighting teams and assets from the donor countries to a fictional country, Driverstan. Persistent wildfires had overwhelmed local resources and at one stage also threatened a refugee camp, requiring an orderly evacuation.

All the issues associated with the movement of teams across borders were “played” with high degrees of realism, along with the gathering and integration of up-to-date fire imagery, terrain and other data required to support firefighting teams and commanders both on the ground and in off-site command centers.

The objective was to evaluate the various technological solutions for creating and sharing a dynamically updated common operational picture (COP) across agencies and borders using the project's trial guidance methodology. Delivering such a COP is the key to efficient, successful crisis management because it optimizes the effectiveness of the limited resources available.

The solutions used by the various crisis management teams were Socrates OC from GMV, vieWTerra Evolution from VWORLD, CrisisSuite from Merlin Software, Drone Rapid Mapping from Creotech Instruments and the Field Reporting Tool developed by the European Commission Joint Research Centre. Each solution was integrated using the DRIVER+ test bed technical infrastructure and independently assessed by observers and participants.

This event represents the culmination of several years of trials, intense research and best practice development by the different partners of the pan-European, EU-funded DRIVER+ project. The Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences, supported by the Main School of Fire Service in Warsaw, was the organizer and leader of the preparation for the final demonstration. The event took place in three different locations simultaneously: the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Main School of Fire Service, both in Warsaw, and the Safety Region Haaglanden in the Hague.

DRIVER+ is a pan-European project designed to build Europe’s resilience to climate-related crisis situations, such as wildfires and flooding, as well as to other threats such as earthquakes, industrial accidents and terrorism. A key focus is helping crisis management organizations evaluate and select the best (technological) solutions for supporting enhanced emergency management. Drones, advanced crisis management solutions and cross-border cooperation all featured strongly in the final demonstration and evaluation.

More details on the objectives of the demonstration are here. The findings will be outlined in the final conference in Brussels in February. Results will also be disseminated through media activities, publications, and online and social media promotion.

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