For decades, incident responses for natural disasters and prescribed operations have been managed with paper-based T-cards and incident-management folders. Every responding individual, crew and appliance is captured on one of these paper cards and placed in little slots on a physical battle board affixed to a wall or whiteboard. But these cards provide little room for shift details, health and dietary needs, or qualifications. Managing these cards is labour intensive and time consuming when the clock is ticking.
During the Black Summer bushfires of 2019–2020, shortcomings with the inefficient paper-based system were intensified for Incident Management Teams (IMTs). Paper cards frequently hindered the efficient tracking and deployment of firefighters battling on the front lines, made cross-agency collaboration difficult and didn’t provide IMTs crucial details to make informed decisions. Writing was often simply unreadable, increasing radio chatter. It was clear that the paper-based process needed modernisation, not an easy task in an industry known for tradition.
Designed in collaboration with IMTs, HEROIQ brings incident management into the 21st century. The system’s adherence to the Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management System (AIIMS) principles ensures it is fit for purpose. Built to work completely offline, it caters to rural areas of no or low reception and populated areas that lost communications during a natural disaster.
It consists of two tailored apps, a crew card smartphone app and a tablet-based battle board.
Crew leaders from any agency – or country – use the smartphone app to generate digital T-cards with improved accuracy and key details for every member on their team. These enhanced cards contain contact information, shift details, availability, health and dietary needs, and qualifications.
After a digital T-card is created, the mobile app creates a unique QR code. When the crew arrives on scene, the crew leader scans the code into the IMT’s tablet. This instantly populates the incident battle board with the crew’s details. What would traditionally be a time-consuming process logging less information is now instantaneous and accurate, with no more illegible scribbles to decipher.
HEROIQ’s battle board serves as a centralised hub of information for IMTs, replacing incident-management folders. It integrates crew cards, appliances, communications, logs, reference materials, and notifications, all in a single source of truth.
The system’s automated fatigue management allows leaders to monitor overall wellbeing for every crew, easily cross-referencing overlong shifts, and preventing fatigue-related errors and accidents. All without having to reference individual paper cards and manually calculate shift time and fatigue hours.
IMTs can also ensure that crews are appropriately matched and assigned to appliances and equipment they are qualified to operate, improving mission success by giving the right people the right tasks. In-app messaging proactively alerts high fatigue levels, availability issues, and health concerns. And inbuilt interoperability enables any agency to seamlessly coordinate with different responding organisations.
At the end of an incident, all information is exportable to simplify post-incident analysis and accounting, while providing accountability.
HEROIQ improves situational awareness and allows IMTs to focus on strategy by reducing the physical and mental workload required to manage, monitor and deploy their teams. In a rapidly changing environment, every second counts. HEROIQ ensures important information is immediately available to the IMT to make informed decisions. The whole system is a dramatic improvement over the paper-based systems used today.
Built for any agency using AIIMS in their incident response, HEROIQ can be used for bushfires, floods, cyclones, natural disasters, and forestry services.
HEROIQ is poised to revolutionise coordination and planning across all emergency services, harnessing the best in emerging technology to assist teams in making informed and potentially life-saving decisions for their crews. All while leaving the paper behind.
For more information, go to HEROIQ.io