A critical incident is a threat to a community’s safety that is unexpected, unpredictable and necessitates quick and effective decision-making. The process by which a community responds to such an event in order to protect its population is known as critical incident management. Its origins can be traced back to the public inquiry that followed the investigation into Stephen Lawrence’s murder in the United Kingdom in 1993. Responding to a critical incident requires a multifaceted and complex approach; how the event is handled can quickly determine whether it becomes a crisis situation. While proper planning for such events is critical, planning for the unknown can often feel daunting. Thus, every community must have a specific Critical Incident Management Systems (CIMS) in place to ensure it’s properly prepared for unexpected emergency situations.
Building Safe Communities With Critical Incident Management Systems
KWESST’s Critical Incident Management System offers a systematized approach that complies with current policies, standards, and procedures to ensure community safety is paramount. In the event of an emergency, CIMS aims to ensure that critical decisions can be made in a timely manner. It also synchronizes first responder’s operations and services, enabling them to manage critical assets. Recognizing that no two incidents are the same is critical. An open-minded approach is required to continuously learn from mistakes and adapt to ensure that when the next critical incident occurs, a community can approach it prepared.
The primary focus of KWESST is to ensure that law enforcement and first responders are properly equipped to handle any critical incidents or public safety emergencies in their jurisdiction. Examples of such emergencies include search and rescue operations or violent persons threatening a community. Our proprietary next-generation technology development provides a tactical advantage for security forces and defence.
KWESST’s comprehensive Critical Incident Management System (CIMS) architecture is advantageous as it can be comprised of any Cloud-based enterprise emergency management solution supported on any cloud computing environment, yet integrated with Team Awareness Kit (TAK), which allows for the seamless fusion and sharing of critical real-time positional locations, imagery, and targeted time-sensitive emergency services data and information for the effective and coordinated delivery of emergency services such as rescue, fire suppression, and emergency medical care. Furthermore, its data is managed and stored in accordance with NFPA 1600, and it is used to support stakeholders such as Emergency Operations Centres (EOC), Incident Command Posts (ICP), and Incident Commanders, as well as all first responders.
What Critical Incident Management Systems Offer to First Responders
Effective management of any emergency can help ensure that a critical incident does not become a crisis. Having a plan in place to manage a critical incident before it occurs can help to reduce the likelihood of escalation. Communication, tactical response, officer and community safety, mutual aid, rules of engagement, and training are all part of managing a critical incident. Communication throughout a critical incident is a key element of incident management. The implementation of an order of communication precedence list based on Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency (PACE) is enabled and supported by CIMS, which contributes to coordination and informed decision-making for all law enforcement leaders involved in managing a critical incident.
Adopting a great CIMS solution for first responders and law enforcement poses little risk and has a low total cost of ownership because it leverages existing investments in communications networks, mapping tools, and office tools such as Microsoft Office 365. Workflows for critical incident management can also be extended across multiple agencies to EOC and ICP teams, as well as staff and volunteers working from anywhere in the world. For First Responders, CIMS consists of Team Awareness Kit (TAK) as a foundational, mobile phone based, mutual situational awareness building block. CIMS also ensures security via the Microsoft Azure cloud and TAK, securing data at rest and in transit with a multi-layered security approach to protect against digital threats.
Specific Use Cases for CIMS and Managing Critical Incidents
With frontline stories becoming more common, it is difficult to predict when your team will be out in the field attempting to manage critical incidents in order to protect our communities and society at large. The market for wearable video surveillance technology like TAK is currently confined primarily to military usage; however, at KWESST we believe its capabilities extend far beyond that. Consider the following scenarios: a private security professional discovers an injured pedestrian in front of a building they patrol, or law enforcement requires a precise tactical protocol to prevent a fugitive from causing further harm. In each case, CIMS is there to help.
Security personnel equipped with a CIMS platform and devices can stream videos of any situation not only to their command center, but also to local law enforcement, emergency medical personnel on their way to the scene, or doctors at a nearby hospital. It also enables any public safety partner to use video to respond to complex situations and evolving threats for first responders as they occur. It’s one thing to track a moving object, but tracking entire fleets of vehicles, such as ambulances and local police, vessels, or aircraft in real time allows for moment-by-moment decision-making for improved operational awareness.
CIMS provides real-time situational awareness by integrating, analyzing, and displaying streaming data from numerous sensors, devices, and social media feeds. Sensors work together to send alerts and data to a central command center in real time, ensuring complete situational awareness and global event handling. First responders can define filters and location-based analytics that automatically refine and focus real-time data to accomplish the mission with up-to-the-minute intelligence on what’s happening in the field, across jurisdictions. That is why first responders at all levels of government, such as law enforcement, fire, and emergency management organizations, should use CIMS capabilities in their operations and dispatching centers.
When assessing the future of critical incident management systems, it is important to remember that the success of a community’s critical incident management plan is primarily due to its ability to maintain communication and disseminate information. It is a resource that not all jurisdictions have easy access to. Therein lies the importance of CIMS.
Empowering First Responders With KWESST
The transition to the new digitized era of public safety management allows for a more dynamic operating environment. This will better address the evolving array of threats and major incidents, while also empowering police and first responders. KWESST’s Critical Incident Management System provides first responders with real-time networked situational awareness information that improves safety and incident management. KWESST aims to address critical challenges for law enforcement, fire, emergency response, search and rescue, and natural disaster management, all of which require networked situational awareness to understand, decide, and act more quickly and efficiently in the aftermath of a critical incident.