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Mobile Emergency Response System (MERS) December 9, 2012

Posted by mattpassini in Mobility.
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­The Mobile Emergency Response System (MERS) is a combination of sub-systems that work together to provide emergency responders with the most immediate and detailed information available both before and during a response.  The system consists of an online application acting as the central hub for displaying all information available for a given address or response type.  A secondary distributed system will be deployed on mobile devices carried by emergency responders that will primarily utilize its cellular internet connection when available, and fall back to a wireless ad-hoc peer-to-peer network that will hop its way back to the main system.  This system is also designed to interface with other third-party systems, such as computer aided dispatch (CAD), other agencies systems, and hospitals.

The following is synopsis of the overall system.

Common elements between modules – Intercommunication with Dispatch
This system will interface with the emergency dispatching systems.  When a department is called to respond, the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system will automatically send all available information, such as the exact location of the emergency (GPS coordinates) as well as full address, and any manually added notes and information.  The online application will also display a ‘live’ (interactive) Google Map of the location.

Fire Module
The main system page will be the Fire Module screen.  The screen will show the following information
User entered pictures related to the address
List of key holder/main contact information
List of relevant notes about the premises
List of hazardous material kept on site

EMS Module
Ability to choose Medical or Trauma response, or read directly from the dispatch system.
Direct access to Wisconsin Ambulance Run Data System (WARDS) for immediate reporting.
Interface with hospitals to allow for instant, potentially two way, communication.
When medical device sensors become more widely available, the ability to wirelessly interact with a multiple of biological markers would be added.

Vehicle Rescue
The vehicle response module would have the ability to choose make, model, and year for each vehicle involved in the emergency, or have the information automatically sent via dispatch’s CAD if available.  The system would integrate with a third-party database which holds diagrams for each vehicle, including vital information such as battery location, airbag locations, special metals used in the engine and structural reinforcement, along with any unique electrical systems becoming ever more common in all electric or hybrid vehicles, which pose a great risk, specifically for fire.

Search (for people/animals/etc)
Display Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for creating and organizing a small to large scale search and rescue mission based on location, number of patients, and time of day.  The system would allow input of latitude and longitude which will update the Google map to that specific location.  With E911, dispatch centers with the necessary equipment are able to retrieve the GPS coordinates of the cell phone used to call 911, if the cell phone is capable of doing so.  This allows for a real-time overview of the geographical location, allowing for extremely efficient execution of a large scale distributed search effort.

Other Rescue (Special Rescue)
Ability to choose type: Water, Ice, High Angle (ropes), or other, and the potential to read it from the dispatch system, if available.  Display the proper SOP based on that information.  The system would also display other helpful hints, such as how to tie specific knots, or produce special pulley hoisting systems.

On-Scene Command Module and the Secondary Distributed Mobile Application
The On-Scene Command Module is hosted within the online application and communicates with the distributed native mobile applications via the internet or by falling back to ad-hoc networks.  The key to this application is complete integration requiring no user interaction.

Regardless of the technology used to transmit data to and from the various devices, there is a large number of small data that can be continuously transmitted.  The system becomes even more valuable when external sensors are interfaced with the mobile devices.  For instance, biological sensors could record vital signs, such as pulse and body temperature.  Another sensor on the Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) could transmit the amount of oxygen left, along with trends of oxygen intake, and thus estimate the amount of time the responder can stay in the building.  An accelerometer could also be used to sense movement, or specifically, lack thereof.  Lastly, an exact location of the responder could be given, which aids in both real-time management of resources, as well as retrieving a downed responder in an emergency.

A second use of the mobile devices could be enhanced by adding a Heads Up Display (HUD), that would ideally be integrated into the facemask for the SCBA.  Not only could the HUD display important information about the responder themselves (vitals, air and time remaining), but it could also display the status of their partner(s).  It could also read information from equipment and apparatus that is on scene.  For example, a fire engine could provide a firefighter with the current level of water left in the truck, as well as the current gallons per minute (GPM), or flow, to each hose line.  Other information could be sent directly to responders, such as location of potential victims, location of hurt firefighters, updates on the stability of areas of the structure, or any other commands.

Outside, the command module on the cloud hosted system will aggregate the data being received from responders and provide meaningful information, such as the biological status of responders, air remaining, or current activity.  This module would also allow for direct communication to the responder, such as sending commands of what to do next, which would be displayed on the responders HUD.

With the various amounts of data being logged, extremely detailed and accurate reporting could be automated.  This would greatly decrease the amount of time necessary post-incident and greatly relieve much of the frustration when attempting to remember every detail of, at times, extremely complex and long responses.

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