Positioning technologies for the use of rescue services and authorities - an integrated system of rescue services that utilises the opportunities of modern technology and, in particular, geographic information
In a few years, digital geographic information has become a basic service in everyday use of smart phone users. As useful as geographic data can be in daily use, areas of application exist where it is much more than that – critically important. One such area is rescue services. Fast and correctly-implemented action saves lives. Real-time, easily accessible geographic information can be extremely helpful in this.
Finland has a large number of businesses that develop positioning solutions for the needs of various professionals and authorities. For example, a device developed by Roger-GPS provides emergency vehicles with geographic information while they are still in garage thus contributing to the speed of departure, whereas a software by InPlace Solutions helps the rescue services to navigate to the target faster and more safely. Portalify's mobile management system helps the team and the management to keep track of the whereabouts of team members. Cassidian and Murata offer positioning inside buildings.
Potential for the export market
Insta is a family business focusing on safety technology and industrial automation based in Tampere. At the moment, Insta acts as the main supplier in a large information system project for emergency response centres where a new message and information system is being developed for authorities responsible for emergency response activities in Finland. The system incorporates technology from several subcontractors.
"Geographic information is useful in rescue and emergency response tasks in two different ways. First, by positioning, for example, a mobile phone, it is possible to determine the location of the emergency – something the person making the call may not always be able to describe. Second, the management of the operation is able to view the movements of the units at its disposal in real time. This is highly valuable information particularly in large operations involving many units," explains Antti Kerola, Director, Research and Development, from the technology company Insta.
The system is a forerunner also from an international standpoint. In addition to utilising geographic information, it also applies a model that is both national and decentralised so that different emergency response centres may support one another flexibly as needed.
According to Kerola, expertise generated in the emergency response centre project can also be utilised in the area of export: corresponding solutions are also in demand elsewhere. For operations abroad, a new strategy is needed.
"In Finland, we act as an integrator, but abroad our role will be that of a product supplier; the role of the integrator will be assumed by local companies. We have created the Insta Response product based on the technology used in the emergency response centre project," Kerola says.
Markets for the products exists also outside of the safety sector and government services.
"For the moment, we have no actual new openings in that direction, but there is a need for similar solutions in the management of ports and other similar large logistic clusters," Kerola says.
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