Natural disasters, acts of terrorism, large-scale emergencies, festivals, and sporting events. It seems like every time we turn on the news or look at our Facebook feed, we see major unplanned incidents and planned events unfolding in real-time for the world to see.
The scale, complexity, and unpredictability of major incidents and events creates significant operational challenges that truly set them apart from routine incident management. The scope and magnitude of impacts is greater, and timelines are longer. They feature multiple, interrelated hazards and locations, and require diverse agencies with broad capabilities to operate and work together. Consider the amount of coordination that goes into having law enforcement agencies, fire and rescue services, EMS, utility providers, transportation authorities, and branches of military respond to the multiple impacts of an earthquake. And these impacts must be managed in parallel with crises.
The most common failures in handling major incidents and events are not individual tactics or lack of resources, but issues stemming from management, communication, and integrating responders. The inability to direct combined resources with common objectives, relevant information, and a clear line of command compromises operational efficiency and safety, and, ultimately, results in higher impacts and delayed recovery.
While incident command system (ICS) standards and protocols provide a framework for managing and overcoming these challenges, information technology tools often lack and inhibit the effective application of ICS. These tools may only address partial capabilities or stages of the overall operation and processes. The other downside is that many times critical data and information aren’t integrated between different applications. For example, planning or document management tools aren’t connected to operational systems, while geographic information systems (GIS) lack comprehensive records and documentation. A dispatch system alone can’t handle the coordination and operational requirements because its capabilities are too narrow in scope and access. And other tools are specific to tiers of command, such as for field incident command or emergency operations centers only.
It’s in this environment of having to use multiple, disparate systems that response agencies and organizations find themselves managing major incidents and events. As the frequency of occurrence and severity of impacts increases, the need for a comprehensive solution that integrates and coordinates resources, procedures, and communications has never been greater.
As the global product manager, I am pleased to announce that we have updated Intergraph Planning & Response, our application for managing major incidents and events, with new features, including a mobile app. Formerly a regional product, it is now globally available to our customers.
Unveiled at HxGN LIVE, Hexagon’s international conference, Intergraph Planning & Response enables highly diverse groups of public and private-sector agencies, which may rarely work together, to operate as a coherent team with a common purpose and direction while comprehensively fulfilling incident command system (ICS) requirements. Unlike applications that only support specific capabilities or stages of major incident and event management, Intergraph Planning & Response is a single, unified solution for all agencies, needs and stages of operation. It supports single or unified incident command: on-scene, in tactical operations centers and at emergency operations centers. Intergraph Planning & Response serves as a single source of information throughout the entire life cycle for safe, efficient, and effective operations.
A web-based application, Intergraph Planning & Response can be hosted remotely at secure facilities or in the cloud, which promotes resilience. It also natively interfaces with Intergraph Computer-Aided Dispatch and can be integrated with other external systems.
If you’re interested in effectively managing major incidents and events, from planning through response and recovery, visit our product page to discover the benefits and capabilities that Intergraph Planning & Response has to offer.
Oliver Starka is the global product manager for Intergraph Planning & Response. Prior to that, he served as a senior project and product manager for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure in Austria since 2007.