Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)
Immediate Capture of Paper Records During Disasters

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Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES)

WA State Government

Implementation of RM8 allowed DFES to capture critical information more effectively and efficiently than previously.

To allow DFES to gather and record information from multiple sources efficiently and effectively.

Services Provided
Training and implementation of RM8
The Client

As Western Australia’s leading hazard management agency, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) (formerly the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of WA) performs a critical role coordinating emergency services for a range of natural disasters and emergency incidents threatening life and property.

The Background

DFES is the Hazard Management Agency in WA for incidents such as fire, hazardous materials incidents, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, storms and other severe weather events. During these incidents, a significant amount of information is gathered. This information is important for insurance claims, Investigations, FOI requests, and can play a critical role in the review and evaluation of an incident.

The Challenge

Information is gathered from a number of sources, often in extreme conditions. Information is often on paper and may be covered in dirt or wet. Information is collated from Police, Parks and Wildlife, St John Ambulance and any number of other sources.

Information gathered includes purchase orders, invoices, maps, hazard reports, videos, recordings, incident diaries, and records of who is undertaking the work and the equipment used and much more.

Capturing this information without hindering the work of those involved is a significant challenge. There is a public expectation that an audit trail will be available. In addition, it also plays a critical part in the review and evaluation of an incident.

In summary, the challenge was to capture critical information as quickly as possible.

  • Information capture is low on the priority list during a disaster but critical for assessment later.
  • Critical information can be lost or delayed without an effective solution, and full assessment of disasters would not possible.
The Information Proficiency Solution

Information captured had to be presented in a meaningful way. Metadata was utilised to wrap this information. RM8 used to create a ‘dashboard’ with data that is meaningful to the end user from operations to media.

29 high-speed scanners were deployed to the State Operational Centre, the Metropolitan Operational Centre, Regional Operational Centres and the Incident Control Vehicles (ICV) to capture paper records directly into RM. Training was provided to relevant staff.

Business Benefits

  • Field staff can focus on the job at hand knowing the information is being captured and emergency response teams have the timely feed of information they require; and
  • Staff are able to react faster during disasters and use information previously not available for post event analysis.