Emergency communications workers from Australia and New Zealand will gather in Christchurch later this week to discuss innovation in public safety communications, at the National Emergency Communications Working Group – Australia/New Zealand’s (NECWG) annual Industry Engagement Forum.
Benoît Vivier, public affairs manager of the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) will deliver the keynote address on activities and innovation in Europe. Ben Quay from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will discuss the implementation of Emergency Caller Location Information (ECLI) in NZ.
According to PoliceLink command director, Chris Beatson, New Zealand is leading the world in the provision of location information with calls from mobile phones to emergency services organisations. The service went live in July 2017 for callers using Android phones, but iOS devices were not supported until April 2018.
NECWG says: “With New Zealand being the first country outside of Europe to nationally deploy Google’s Android Emergency Location Service (Google’s implementation of Advanced Mobile Location (AML)) and one of the first countries to deploy Apple’s iOS AML, the drivers of this initiative will also provide insights into the benefits and success of this implementation.”
The conference follows the release in November 2017 of a report, The Emergency Communication Centre of the Future: From Reactive to Proactive, which came out of last year’s Industry Engagement Forum, in May.
It was prepared for NECWG by the PwC Chair in Digital Economy based at QUT. The chair, a joint initiative of QUT, PwC, Brisbane Marketing and the Queensland Government “investigates, stimulates and educates to help organisations and individuals thrive in the digital economy.”
The report concluded, “Disruptive dynamics such as globalisation, changing community expectations and large-scale use of digital technologies are impacting the very heart of how individuals, organisations and governments deal with emergencies.”
It said these trends would require from the involved stakeholders “a strategic effort to re-think the ways in which they prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from, major safety and security disruptions.”
It proposed a Proactive Emergency Communication Centre as an evolution of current models and indicated options for the involved stakeholders to make the emergency communication centre of the future a reality.
The next conference will be held in Hobart, Australia in November 2018.