An important event took place on the 23rd and 24th May in Warsaw – the first of four Trials in the DRIVER+ project. And Euronews was there to film it all. The four-minute video will be broadcast on Euronews during w/c 18th June and will be available on the Euronews Futuris and DRIVER+ websites.

DRIVER+ Trial 1 provided a practical demonstration of the potential of a Common Operational Picture (COP) approach at the European level with both tabletop and field-based components. A major incident was simulated, based on a real incident, in which a highly toxic mud-like liquid flooded a large area, resulting in 15 fatalities and a further 200 people injured by the chemical inundation.

The DRIVER+ Test-bed and methodology developed during the project were evaluated by the practitioners participating in Trial 1 from several Member States. Three COP solutions had been pre-selected for the Trial and were used to provide better situational awareness, resource pooling and cross-border cooperation for the players:

  • SOCRATES OC (GMV): improved situational awareness tool, helping practitioners to make well-informed decisions by providing and supporting the real-time exchange of operational information
  • 3Di (Nelen and Schuurmans): cloud-based solution, delivering dynamic flood forecasting and risk mapping. Modelling presents detailed flooding locations, water depths, arrival times and damage
  • Drone Rapid Mapping (Hexagon): video imagery from a drone of the incident area is uploaded into the cloud and automatically processed, producing highly detailed 3D maps very quickly

“The Trial served as a demonstration of how powerful approach a Common Operational Picture (COP) at the European level can potentially be for the emergency services”, emphasised Lt. Col. Tomasz Zweglinski, Head Internal Security Department, Main School of Fire Service in Poland (SGSP).

The results of Trial 1 will be available as soon as the team has evaluated all the data in the coming weeks. Preparations are now underway for Trial 2 in Valabre, near Aix-en-Provence, France, which will focus on a simulated major forest fire with subsequent impact on a neighbouring country.