Mission Track Facilitates Digitalized Emergency Management for Local Authorities
The December 2020 publication of the General State Plan for Civil Protection Emergencies completes the regulatory and organizational framework at the highest level of the National Civil Protection System in Spain.
This event can serve as a reminder of the strong component of territorial scaling that incorporates the emergency management system in Spain, with management and operational powers and responsibilities at both the national, regional, provincial and municipal levels.
In this sense, it is worth highlighting the effort made in recent years to set up alert reception centers and emergency management and coordination centers equipped with significant technological support, both at the national level, as well as at the regional and provincial levels.
THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF MUNICIPALITIES IN EMERGENCIES
However, it is necessary to consider the important role that the Civil Protection and emergency management regulations grant to the municipal territorial scope, which has a special incidence in the early stages of an emergency, in which it can still be controllable, before serious damage is caused and its magnitude evolves to require its escalation.
It is the responsibility of the Local Corporations to prepare their respective Municipal Emergency Plans, in which the figure of the Operational Coordination Center at the local level (CECOPAL) is foreseen, which has among its functions to coordinate the actions of the Local Operational Services (against fire, security, health and logistical support).
However, unlike the technological resources available to the coordination centers at the regional or national level, the vast majority of the municipalities do not have technological support that allows integrating the information from the different operational services to have a global vision of the theater of operations and emergency progression, and to share this information in real time with operational services.
Indeed, the coordination centers at the national and regional levels use information, command and control systems that integrate specific-purpose technologies, which are very effective (for example, to perimeter a large fire using satellite technology), but also very expensive and unapproachable for a local entity of medium or small size.
However, it is possible to democratize access to emergency management systems through the use of mature and general-purpose technologies, such as the mobile technology used in the Mission Track solution, which makes it possible to take advantage of all the capabilities and sensors of current mobile terminals, as well as cloud infrastructure that provides robust and highly available support.
This solution allows small and medium-sized municipalities to provide their CECOPAL with economically accessible technological support, which provides alert, activation, coordination, command and control capabilities of operational services, with a global and shared vision of the theater of operations through:
- geopositioning of people, mediums and resources,
- satellite maps,
- access to documentation and plans,
- and feedback of information and data on response procedures and progress of the course of action.
This technological support can be very useful to provide a rapid response in the early stages of an emergency to prevent its evolution, as well as to provide greater efficiency and safety in taking action, by being able to share information on actions and resources, and on possible hazards to operational services.
Likewise, Mission Track can also be used to carry out drills, and in this way train the different people involved in emergencies, which undoubtedly contributes to improving the effectiveness, coordination and response times of the operation.