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Crisis management: It’s time to get up to date

With European festivals on high alert for terror threats this summer, it's time for promoters to make better use of the latest emergency-management tech, argues Ian Carr

10 Jun 2016

Ian Carr, Intermedix

Expert emergency planning can minimise further risk from natural or man-made disasters at events. Technology is an invaluable part of that mix. We are all too aware that music festivals and other large events in Europe this summer are indeed vulnerable to a terrorist attack, as recently pointed out by Neil Basu, Metropolitan police commander and one of the UK’s counter-terrorism experts.

We all need to be prepared for the unimaginable, but how well prepared are we? Many of the biggest government organisations in the US are already using the latest crisis-management technology for major events. To what extent the UK and Europe are also up to speed is a question that has been brought to the forefront of our agendas following Commander Basu’s comments.

The new sophisticated tools specifically designed to create a common operating picture during an emergency can support emergency planners and responders in meeting increased challenges. Emergency services, communicators and multiple agencies that need to be involved in any disaster response can be greatly supported by today’s technological tools.

Some category-1 responders in the UK are still using a ‘post-it note and courier’ system to communicate during emergencies. Perhaps it’s time to get up to date

Preparedness is essential for disasters of any kind, including terror attacks, severe weather events, human error or simply the unexpected. It is essential that the right technology is in place to communicate internally and share details regarding all emergency needs related an event. A crisis-management tool will provide situational awareness through coordination of resource allocation, position-specific activity and significant events for the lifecycle of the event.

Some category-1 responders (emergency services and local authorities) in the UK are still using a ‘post-it note and courier’ system to communicate with key internal and external audiences during emergencies. Perhaps it’s time to get up to date. As it is well understood that time equals lives saved in emergency situations, we do not have much time to assess any serious gaps in our emergency response procedures.


Ian Carr is European market development director at Intermedix, heading up the company’s new UK and European division in Reading, Berkshire.