Trial #2

22nd – 26th October 2018

Valabre, France

The number and severity of natural or man-made disasters, as well as humanitarian and civilian emergencies, is increasing worldwide, causing considerable infrastructure and economic loss. As a result, the way that we manage these crises is a constantly evolving challenge. European Crisis Management capabilities need to improve continuously in order to adapt to rising challenges faced by practitioners in their day-to-day operations.

This is where the DRIVER+ Trial 2 comes into play.

Imagine the scene: a large forest fire occurs in a cross-border Mediterranean environment and threatens wildland urban interfaces. Because of the widespread effects of this kind of crises, multiple other incidents, both man-made and natural hazards will happen on several sites.

How to respond to such a crisis? DRIVER+ Trial will try to find some new innovative answers.

The aim of this Trial is to improve cooperation and coordination between different organisations and agencies from different countries using innovative solutions for large scale and complex multi-event crisis.

To reach this goal, the event will be conducted to investigate innovative solutions on how they improve Crisis Management by developping interoperability and coordination in response operation, supporting a common understanding among the actors involved in the crisis.

Common understanding 

How can terminologies or symbologies support a better understanding among the different actors involved in a large and complex crisis despite different background, like discipline, culture or language? 

With regard to the support of a commong understanding among all actors involved in the crisis, the Trial will try to show how to maximize the added value of the use of a common terminology by carrying out preliminary training.

Interoperability & coordination in response operation  

How to improve the shared situational awareness by supporting the exchange of crisis-related information among agencies and organizations?  

The Trial will try to demonstrate how socio-technical solutions can improve the quality of the exchanged information while supporting the Emergency Management Services (EMS) in understanding the crisis dynamics to ensure their safety on a large forest fire scene as well as in obtaining an overview of the response operations in order to organize casualties rescue, without disturbing forest fire suppressions operations. It will show the need for a better coordination of fire fighters’ response operations EMS rescue operation and the environmental protection agency during a large forest fire with casulties. This will highlight the necessity of sharing relevant information to appropriate crisis manager while preventing information overload.

How can socio-technical solutions facilitate coordination between units from different countries to ensure aerial firefighting operations timeliness?

The objective of the Trial will be to find solutions to save time so that the suppression opearation can be effective.

How will the Trial be organised?

The main mission objective is to “suppress the fire“, in order to : protect people (this includes dealing with casualties) , protect goods and infrastructures and protect the environment. Because of widespread effects of this kind of incidents and limited possibilities to conduct this kind of exercise in real-life conditions, the trial will be organised as a table-top exercise based on a simulated environment The scenario will require a commitment of stakeholders from every crisis management level and from all the agencies participating in the crisis response:  

  • Fire-fighters : from France, and (aerial) reinforcement from other countries, terrestrial units from other countries if there is a cross border aspect
  • Environmental protection agency
  • Medical services organization 
  • Decision makers and authorities 

All levels of the command chain will be played from the field command post (with the Incident Commander role) up to the zonal and national operational centres.  

Actions will be taken by these stakeholders in realistic information environment, based on both legacy solutions for chosen country, crisis management plans, rescue procedures and good practices of participants and selected innovative solutions.  Further actors will be involved based on the scenario developments and the additional side events.

How have the solutions been selected?

A Call for Application has been organised from 26th Februray to 26th March 2018. 23 submissions were received, both from providers that are partners of the DRIVER+ consortium and from organisations that are external to the project. The submitted applications were scored by the end-users forming the review group members. Each application has been anonymised and has received 3 reviews and a meta review, that were communicated at the end of the process to the applicants.

The best 9 submissions have been invited for a Solution Demonstration Workshop in Valabre. The main aims of this event were to:

  • Explain the expectations from DRIVER+ side and make sure that the solution providers understand them and agrees ; 
  • Check the added value of the solution in terms of Crisis Management and  into the Trial in greater details ; 
  • Check the technical compatibility of the solution with the DRIVER+ Testbed. 

4 of these solutions have been selected to be featured during the Trial in October 2018.

You miss the opportunity to share your innovative solutions? The Call for application for DRIVER+ next Trial is open.

Where will the Trial take place?

The second DRIVER+ Trial will take place in the premises of Entente pour la Protection de La Forêt Méditerranéenne (Valabre), located in the south of France.

Valabre is a governmental organisation for the protection of the forest and the environment against fires. This organisation coordinates the efforts of the 14 departments most affected by forest fires of the South of France covering 4 regions: Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, Occitanie, Corsica, and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, to fight forest fires.

CEREN is the test and research centre of EPLFM. It is in charge of carrying out all the necessary tests of new products and equipment, compared to the existing ones. These can be realised at the request of the Directorate of Defence and Civil Protection or by other Governmental Organisations.

ECASC, another department of EPLFM is a training school with International notoriety, and a strong network of experts and partners. ECASC is a reference for the specialised training of civil protection professionals in the fields of forest fire, flooding, SaR and for incident commanders. PONT is the technology development department working notably on enhancing GIS solutions for civil protection.