Nationwide emergency alert number and dispatch center raises safety and security response for the people of Philippines. It all started with a vision – to improve the daily lives of every Philippine citizen for a safer and more secure community.
Jomerito “Jojo” Soliman is the man with that vision. He is the founder of Pure Force and Rescue Corporation Philippines (“Pure Force”), which is a private initiative created to connect emergency response agencies across Philippines. Home to nearly 100 million people, Philippines lacks a centralised emergency response system, including a nationwide emergency telephone number, making the coordination between law enforcement, fire and emergency response agencies difficult.
For the vision to come true, Pure Force needed an incident management solution to quickly dispatch first responders, connect national agencies, and manage emergencies in real time across a country of 81 provinces, 144 cities and 1,490 municipalities.
Needing to modernise incident management system and services
For a long time, every Filipino has had to grapple with the frustration of dealing with a different emergency hotline in every city. Without one known, centralised emergency number to call, people don’t always know how to react during a crisis. Sometimes, they end up rushing to a station for help themselves, rather than picking up a telephone to reach professional help through a land or mobile line.
Furthermore, without a modern centralised emergency system in the country, it has become increasingly challenging for prompt, coordinated response among the national agencies. The unduly delay in quality or timely response can result, ultimately, in the loss of properties and lives, which could have been salvaged and saved otherwise.
The consequences of an absent or antiquated nationwide emergency response services can be both dreadful and deadly for this Southeast Asian country prone and frequently plagued by natural disasters. Philippines, located at the heart of a large typhoon belt in the Pacific Ocean, has been struck by major storms, violent earthquakes and other natural disasters in the last century. The most notorious being the super Haiyan/Yolanda typhoon in 2013, leaving a massive trail of destruction with thousands dead, millions of homes damaged, infrastructure destroyed and an economy in tatters.
With this in mind, Soliman is determined to set up an emergency response system that is fully functioning; one that the police, fire and rescue, and ambulance services could rely on, and one that his countrymen could count on wherever help is needed. The goal is for a system that will be as similarly successful as the 911 and 999 emergency services in United States and in United Kingdom respectively. From roadside assistance to critical emergency situations like fire, crimes, or medical emergencies, Philippines citizens could then be assured to reach out and receive help anywhere, anytime regardless of the city where they are located.
Soliman’s vision is “for each city to manage their dispatch for standard emergency calls. During disasters, national agencies can have a joint operation using the Pure Force application where they can assess and deploy relief efforts across the country.”
Innovative use of Hexagon’s dispatching and mobile technologies
Pure Force selected Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure (Hexagon) to implement its industry-leading Intergraph Computer-Aided Dispatch (I/CAD) system and Mobile Responder application to serve as the foundation for Pure Force’s first responder operations in Philippines. The industry-leading incident management software features complete integrated capabilities for call-handling, dispatching, intelligent mapping, field communications, data reporting and analysis, and application integration.
With the implementation of I/CAD in 2015, Pure Force’s command center boasts one common operating picture that facilitates the sharing of mission-critical information among the various agencies – police, fire and rescue, ambulance – in different local cities across the country. This incident management solution allows Pure Force to efficiently process calls, monitor events, dispatch services, coordinate with other agencies, gain insights into incidents, and access business intelligence data. This means that the law enforcement, emergency medical, and fire and disaster rescue services in Philippines can effectively minimise response times and respond quickly to save lives by tracking incidents and managing emergencies in real time.
Additionally, Pure Force is equipped with mobile dispatch capabilities, via Mobile Responder, on smart phones. Mobile Responder essentially extends I/CAD’s incident management capabilities to first responders on the field. They can readily access critical applications, map-based display and real-time data whether they are in their vehicles, on motorcycles or on foot. Using wireless technology, field personnel can also create events, update status, take field calls, and send and receive messages. Therefore, the users are empowered with truer situational awareness that increases safety, performance and productivity.
In addition to supporting the needs of first responders, the Hexagon mobile technology also supports the needs of citizens through a Pure Force mobile application. Users can register their mobile number at www.pureforce505.com to activate the app. The installation of the free app requires users to provide their home address and location via GPS. The Pure Force mobile app is designed with a map-based display screen with distinct emergency-type buttons. Users can send messages to Pure Force through the Internet, text message or a call (02-86-505). In most critical emergency situations, all one has to do is tap the screen. The intelligent app will notify Pure Force about the emergency in real time whether someone is in need of medical care, or rescue from danger or fire. Perhaps most important of all, all citizens, including those without smart phones, can now call for help with one easy-to-dial, five-digit hotline number (86-505) where members of the public can get help once the system becomes operational in the city.
This means the citizens can now be easily connected to centralised emergency services with a single click or call regardless of the city they are located in. Rescue and relief efforts can then be quickly assessed and deployed with the nearest and most appropriate personnel or crew to the scene.
Altogether, Hexagon’s I/CAD and Mobile Responder ensure that the right, reliable information is always on hand – at the desk and in the field – for the entire force at Pure Force to respond precisely. They benefit from one seamless interactive interface that can incorporate information from thousands of sensors and systems, and one single integrated technology that can manage multiple agencies across the country during crises.
Benefiting the agencies
Graphically powerful thin client terminals combined with centralised cloud computing resources are used in the I/CAD and mobile software implementations for Pure Force. In a nutshell, the configuration designed for Pure Force delivers superior security features, data integrity, remote accessibility, resource management and cost savings, with greater ease of scalability and upgrade in its information technology infrastructure.
It also promotes interoperability via rapid interfacing with other information systems to improve incident planning, response and resolution. In other words, it is now easier and faster to share information, connect data, and collaborate with other agencies so that more accurate situational awareness is created for optimised emergency response.
Most significantly, these have enabled Pure Force to have an exceptionally advanced “virtual” nationwide command centre with dynamic information, smarter workflows and location intelligence for its specialised search and rescue operation.
Moreover, the vital call information logged generates volumes of data that can be used by Pure Force and national agencies to extract compelling intelligence and deliver actionable information on crime activities, incidents trend, operational planning, resource allocation, organisational response, and more.
Notably, the Metro Manila Development Authority, and the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fire Protection (in the national capital region) are some of the leading agencies which have implemented the solutions in partnership with Pure Force.
Benefiting the citizens
Pure Force is donating the mission-critical software to every city in Philippines to help overcome the challenges and expand its coverage nationwide. The software was rolled out first in Manila, the nation’s capital, in November 2014, and 30 cities now have the solutions. They are: Aklan, Butuan, Cebu city, Cebu Bogo, Cebu Consolacion, Cebu Mandaue, Caloocan, Davao, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, Quezon city, Rodriguez Rizal, San Mateo Rizal, San Jose del Monte, San Juan, Taguig, Valenzuela.
Soliman and Pure Force are relentlessly realising their vision to safeguard communities and citizens, and bring about a safer, stronger and more resilient Philippines.
For more information, go to www.hexagonsafetyinfrastructure.com