Track 11: Practitioner Cases and Practitioner-Centered Research


Long Papers


 

Scaling 911 Messaging for Emergency Operation Centers During Large Scale Events

Andrea H. Tapia, Nicklaus A. Giacobe, Nicolas LaLone, Pamela J. Soule

ABSTRACT

In this paper we imagine that one day soon, mass crisis events will result in thousands of people trying to get emergency help multiple via multiple mediums. Public Access Service Points and 911 Centers will not be able to meet the demand of text-message calls for help during a large scale disaster. While 911 dispatchers will need to respond directly to each individual text message, we present the development and testing of a system that aims to provide this data, in real-time, directly to emergency managers during a large-scale crisis. The system is designed to accept, sort, triage and deliver hundreds of direct text messages from the PSAP and provide them directly to emergency management staff, who can leverage their content. In the hands of the emergency manager, these data can be used to inform resource allocation decisions, enhance their operational situational awareness, and potentially improve the response to the crisis.

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Securing Communication Channels in Severe Disaster Situations – Lessons from a Japanese Earthquake

Mihoko Sakurai, Richard T. Watson

ABSTRACT

Information delivery and sharing are vital for survival during and following a disaster. Information and communication technology (ICT) is supposed to support these processes effectively. To promote information delivery and sharing, the primary actors in charge of conducting a disaster relief operation at all levels of government have invested in developing a supposedly disaster-proof communication channel to be used exclusively when catastrophes hit. In 2011, the biggest earthquake on record hit Japan. ICT services were suspended because of a huge tsunami. This made it impossible for officials to respond as per the existing disaster management plan. The plan turned out not to be useful in response to such an unexpected event. This paper shows how municipal governments responded to the disaster and leads us to propose that unpredictable, large-scale disasters need communication systems that are founded in familiar contexts rather than technological complexity.

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Ontology-Based Knowledge Representation and Information Management in a Biological Light Fieldable Laboratory

Olga Vybornova, Pierre-Alain Fonteyne, Jean-Luc Gala

ABSTRACT

A comprehensive ontology has been developed to model the operational domain knowledge and provide information management for a light fieldable laboratory (LFL) performing molecular microbiological analyses. LFL is considered as a toolbox where all operational functions and tools used to execute these functions are incorporated into a single system. The ontology is used to facilitate the LFL mission preparation and management, to provide technical compatibility of sharable information between tools, and to align the terminology and definitions between tools while complying with standards, best practices and procedures. The LFL domain is a formalised and structured  modelling the LFL concepts, procedures, functions, prescribing the necessary functions and delimiting those which are incompatible with the given mission or scenario. Such consistent logical modelling allows to efficiently plan and configure the LFL mission selecting only the necessary functions and tools from the whole collection and to activate them appropriately in due time.

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Short Papers


 

Practitioner-Centered, Long-Term Testing of an ICT-based Triage System for Emergency Management

Ida Maria Haugstveit, Eivind Lars Rake, Aslak Wegner Eide

ABSTRACT

Triage in emergency response refers to determining the priority of victims based on their need for treatment and medical intervention. Today, triage is performed by the use of paper-based triage tags. Communication about patients' status is mainly carried out over radio or through handwritten notes. This practice makes it challenging for emergency personnel to keep an overview of the number, location, and medical status of victims, and to distribute information between personnel. Although technological solutions to ease the triage process exist, the methods used to test these solutions are somewhat limited. This paper reports our plans and preparations for a practitioner-centered, long-term testing of an ICT-based triage system. The system uses electronic devices to tag patients and communicate their status to relevant incident operators, providing a common operational picture for both on- and off-site personnel. The technologies (eTriage and Master) that are to be used during the testing are presented.

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Volunteers’ Perceptions of the Use of Social Media in Emergency Management

Bjørn Erik Munkvold, Mats Flaten, Robin P. Nguyen

ABSTRACT

The paper presents the results of interviews with representatives from Norwegian emergency management volunteer organizations on their current use of social media and their perception of the potential for extended use of social media in their operations. Our study shows that social media is currently mainly used for information to the public and for internal communication. The informants expressed some reluctance towards the concept of virtual operations support teams, and using social media to collect information from the public. Yet, based on the possible benefits reported in the literature from studies of early adopters of digital volunteer groups, we argue in this paper for establishing a similar service at the regional level in Norway that can support the local volunteer organizations.

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Ebola and Yellow Fever Crisis Management Insights

Edward J. Glantz, Frank E. Ritter, Tristan Endsley

ABSTRACT

This paper provides insight into crisis management of infectious disease outbreaks by comparing the current 2014 Ebola outbreak with a well-documented 1793 Yellow Fever outbreak.  These reflections on crisis approaches and management from a human factors and cognitive engineering perspective may help encourage the application of historical epidemiology to better prepare for the next global infectious disease outbreak.

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Ethics of Information Systems Design in Humanitarian Sector: Cultivating Humanitarian values among Technologists

Ajay Kumar, Johnny Søraker 

ABSTRACT

Ethical considerations have been an important part of the humanitarian discourse for decades. The short paper aims to present insights from the point of view of a technology practitioner with field experience in the humanitarian sector and emphasise on the need for continued dialogue about the importance of ethics in design of appropriate technology. The paper advocates for a value sensitive design approach to information systems design and proposes the need for increasing sensitivity towards the issues in technologist working in the area and draws an outline for possible future research.

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