CFA - Incident data management system concept

VoTech as an organisation first gained insight into the emergency sector across 2005-2007, when detailed discussions were held primarily with CFA. The initial focus of interaction and analysis was the development of requirements for an advanced incident data management system (code named PIDMS). At that time such an integrated system was an ambition of the CFA but remained unfunded. During the period mentioned, however, VoTech had access to standard operating procedures and other key operational documents, approached bushfire researchers dealing with incident decision making, visited Fiskville, and provided briefs to senior management at CFA and its board members. Later in the period detailed discussions were held with the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner, leading to the focus on a subsystem of PIDMS, a meshed network communication capability (DataMesh). Research and development internally funded by VoTech examined available protocols for implementation in VHF, undertook modelling of meshing behaviour in concert with the University of Adelaide, and explored the use of existing prototype hardware for mesh elements with James Cook University in Queensland.

The subsystems of PIDMS are:

  • CrewHeart - for managing safety of firefighters and supporting resource deployment decisions
  • DataMesh - for establishing on scene radio networks that carry incident data and command/control messages to and from the fire ground
  • WeatherAlert - for profiling weather effects in support of the planning function, with emphasis on fronts
  • Tactica - for directly supporting incident controllers with tactical decision making advice