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EENA Conference moves to 28-30 April 2021

10 June 2020

 

Dear EENA Community,

A few months ago, we made the difficult decision to postpone the EENA Conference 2020 until December and today we make another hard decision.

It is now clear that countries across the world will continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for months to come. The long-term health and safety of our community is the most important to us and now more than ever your presence is best placed helping your countries to recover.

For these reasons, we have decided to postpone the EENA Conference and Exhibition until Spring 2021. Keeping the event in December would have most likely led to a cancellation at short notice or, at best, a gathering of only very few people, which really would not represent the true community and spirit of the EENA Conference.

Save the new dates for the next EENA Conference – #EENA2021
Wednesday 28 – Friday 30 April 2021, in Riga

 

The venue will remain the Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel in Riga, Latvia; we will be contacting speakers, exhibitors and sponsors individually to discuss the next steps. Also, we will continue updating our conference website to provide you updates on the programme, practical information… and much more!

One of the many lessons that we can certainly learn from this worldwide health crisis is that humans have a strong ability to adapt in challenging times. Since the EENA Conference began more than 10 years ago, we have never missed a year, but your safety and that of your families, friends and colleagues is much more important.

We will be back together in Riga in 2021 – all of us a little older than we planned – with so many experiences to share with one another and so much to learn from everything that has happened during this year apart. In the meantime, please stay safe and know that we always support you during this challenging time.

 

Sending you our best,
The EENA Team

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Connecting emergency services with the future

How the Croatian consortium tested the NG112 architecture to bring more efficient and connected emergency services

Next Generation 112 (NG112) is the next step for emergency services – embracing the possibilities of communications and connectivity of new technologies in order to save lives. This is achieved by embracing the technical architecture that enables the core concept of NG112: moving emergency communications to the internet, allowing for far more data collection (text, video, even location or medical data) which will result in an optimised, more efficient, emergency response.

In April 2019, EENA launched a pilot project focused on demonstrating Next Generation’s 112 use in real-life environments. Emergency services from Croatia, Turkey, Austria, Italy, and Denmark have worked to showcase how voice and data can be delivered to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in a full Internet-based Protocol (IP) environment, following international standards to develop and test different NG112 architecture modules.

The Croatian consortium is the result of a partnership between the Croatian Civil Protection Directorate (under the Ministry of the Interior) and systems integrator KING ICT. Partners focused on testing the possibility of using already available standards based modern technologies to access 112 emergency services without need for previous preparation in form of installation of specialized 112 mobile application, registration etc.

With the Public Switched Telephone Network set to be phased out soon, emergency numbers risk becoming inaccessible if they remain one of the only services available only by traditional phone calls. As the Croatian consortium demonstrated by implementing the NG112 architecture, emergency services must be able to process voice calls made through an Internet Protocol (IP) environment.

Not only is an IP environment the future of voice calls, it opens the possibility to establish other communications that involve video and real-time text. In an emergency, it is crucial for emergency services to access as much relevant information as possible – but also to remain fully reachable. Indeed, the architecture tested by the consortium proved to help paving the way towards full accessibility to emergency services by the population living with a disability.

The results achieved by the Croatian consortium build up on the successful testing of the other NG112 Project partners – proving that NG112 technology is available, ready and viable to bridge the gap between emergency services and new technologies in Europe and beyond.

You can access the full Croatian consortium Report here.
Join the Croatian consortium on 8 June at 14:00 for a webinar exploring their results.

 

Learn more about the partners:

 

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NG112: Testing the solutions of tomorrow

Discover the results achieved by the Turkish consortium testing Next Generation 112

As the world moves forward and embraces new technologies, people are discovering and opting for communications methods that go beyond traditional voice calls – a revolution emergency services cannot be excluded from.

Next Generation 112 (NG112) seeks to harness the life-saving potential of new technologies, incorporating them to the work of emergency services and shift from emergency calls to emergency communications. The NG112 architecture would also allow citizens to reach emergency services via different channels that can involve not only voice, but also text, video… and even sharing information like a person’s location or other relevant data. For emergency responders, being able to access all of this information would provide them with invaluable insight into the situation they are dealing with, greatly improving their work and results.

In April 2019, EENA launched a pilot project focused on demonstrating Next Generation’s 112 use in real-life environments. Emergency services from Turkey, Croatia, Austria, Italy, and Denmark have worked to showcase how voice and data can be delivered to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in a full Internet-based Protocol (IP) environment, following international standards to develop and test different NG112 architecture modules.

The Turkish consortium brought together the work of the Turkish Emergency Ambulance Physicians Association, the Turkish Ministry of Health, and solutions-developers Armakom Information Technologies and Havelsan.

Partners firstly focused on demonstrating emergency communications (voice, video, and text) in real-life environments. By implementing the NG112 architecture, the consortium was able to establish Internet Protocol (IP) based voice calls, together with communications that involved the real-time sharing of video and text with emergency services. Based on preliminary results of the testing, new features were considered in order to improve the communications between citizens and first responders – such as the ability to transmit health data and implementation of smart sentences for both the caller and the call-taker in real-text situations.

The consortium not only successfully established phone-based emergency communications, but also demonstrated the connectivity of emergency services with smart objects. As part of the latest developments in the Internet of Things, home speakers have become a familiar reality for thousands of users worldwide. But what if these handy appliances could also help during an emergency?

The concept developed involved several pre-set emergency commands of specific and authorised users which could be detected by the system. Emergency signals would then be dispatched to NG112 centres to request help. Partners also tested home speakers to receive public warning messages (“reverse 112”), that would allow public authorities to make use of these devices to reach the population and alert them of an ongoing emergency, based on their location.

As proven by the consortium’s work, the implementation of NG112 would address numerous difficulties currently faced by emergency services and help them become as accessible and effective as possible.

You can access the full Turkish consortium Report here.
Join the Turkish consortium on 8 June at 14:00 for a webinar exploring their results.
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COVID-19: How the region of Lombardy adapted its emergency response procedures

As COVID-19 made its way into Europe, the Italian region of Lombardy found itself heavily impacted. In a short period of time, emergency call centres faced high volumes of calls that put an unprecedented pressure on call handlers and ambulance dispatching.

How did the regional emergency response organisations managed to quickly adapt to this unprecedented situation?

The task was undertaken by Lombardy’s AREU (Agenzia Regionale Emergenza Urgenza), which manages both the 112 PSAPs as the first level citizen contact point and the ambulance PSAPs, as the second level dispatching centres for medical rescue.

Among other actions, triage procedures for 112 call-takers were swiftly reconsidered: protocols changed and introduced new call procedureing that allowed to redirect non-emergency calls related to COVID-19 to a dedicated hotline. As the region approached its peak and new hotbeds appeared, efforts continued towards relieving pressure from ambulance PSAPs.

Temporary Support PSAPs were then created to distribute cases with different priorities and to move to an optimised triage procedure at call-taking level, which enabled ambulance PSAPs to dedicate themselves to the most critical cases.

We explore these and other actions in a new document produced by AREU together with EENA, where you can find a look on best practices and lessons learnt on adapting emergency response processes during a crisis.

Access the document “COVID-19: Triage procedure in Lombardy Region, Italy”

On 27 March 2020, we presented a unique interview with Dr Alberto Zoli, General Manager of AREU, where he shared the lessons learnt from the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, as well as suggestions for other 112 and public safety organisations in Europe as the outbreak advanced:

 


During the past weeks, EENA has hosted a series of webinars dedicated to the impact of COVID-19 on emergency services and how these are responding to the challenge:

  • Republic of Korea’s response to COVID-19, presented on 14 May. Access the recording and materials here.
  • EENA & Twitter: Crisis Communications Webinar, presented on 8 May. Access the materials here.
  • Austrian emergency medical calls during COVID-19, presented on 4 May. Access the recording and materials here.
  • Role of tech platforms around COVID-19, presented on 30 April.
  • How disinformation & cyberthreats affect emergency services during COVID-19 outbreak, presented on 6 April. Access the recording and materials here.
  • Data and strategies on emergency calls & public warning during COVID-19 outbreak, presented on 27 March. Access the recording and materials here.

 

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Enabling emergency apps to keep you safe wherever you go

Implementing the PEMEA standard changes the emergency apps landscape by demonstrating cross-border interconnections.

Citizens throughout Europe trust emergency apps as a fast and intuitive way of reaching emergency services. Currently, apps can also provide communication channels like chat and audio-video, improving accessibility for users, together with accurate mobile-based position and tracking during the emergency situation.

But the range of action of emergency apps is limited to their country, or even region, of download – how can they adapt to the growing mobility of citizens in Europe and ensure their safety?

 

Making it happen: the PEMEA project
The solution lies in the PEMEA (the Pan-European Mobile Emergency App) architecture, a technical architecture that allows emergency apps to interconnect with each other even as the user crosses borders. This way, an app from country A to continue working on country B, avoiding for the user to download extra apps or risk being unable to reach emergency services.

The concept is based on a technical specification published by ETSI and designed to enable, control and standardise the data communication between applications and PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points). Implementation of PEMEA was kickstarted in September 2018 with an EENA project that has brought together providers Deveryware and Beta 80 to deploy the network’s elements in real-life scenarios.

After running for two years, the project now concludes having successfully validated the conformance of eight Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in Europe and eleven apps to the PEMEA standard.

Split in two phases, the project’s Phase I project focused on demonstrating PEMEA’s capability of enabling real applications to access emergency services provided by real PSAPs across a range of regions and countries throughout Europe. This Phase concluded in April 2019 with the publication of a report detailing these results and laying out the framework for Phase II.

The second and last phase was conducted from November 2019 to May 2020 and looked into enabling the roaming of apps offering multimedia communication (chat and audio-video). The PEMEA network has been able to provide PSAPs with media servers that allows them to communicate with a person in need of assistance. This way, apps that could previously only be used by citizens to contact the local emergency services could now be used to contact any PSAP in Europe connected to the PEMEA network through a standardised procedure.

Access now the final PEMEA Report to discover the network’s operational procedures, use cases and comprehensive test cases developed by project partners. You can also consult the PEMEA GDPR Conformance Statement, laying out the grounds for processing potentially sensitive information and identifies how PEMEA conforms with current data protection regulations.

 

What comes next?

As the EENA project concludes, partners will continue working towards the objective of allowing all European citizens to use their local emergency apps outside their regions.

The PEMEA network is now ready to connect new Apps and PSAPs in Europe, with initiatives currently undergoing in Romania, regions of France, Spain…etc. All interested entities can contact the PEMEA consortium to get connected to the network and take advantage of the roaming interoperability.

To get in contact and be part of the PEMEA Consortium, please access here to find the contact information.

 

 

 


The PEMEA project has brought together many different organisations across countries for almost two years – we would like to thank everybody involved in making PEMEA a reality, the results achieved could not have been possible without their hard work.

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EENA partners with Twitter to help verify your organisation’s account

As accurate information becomes more important than ever to ensure public safety, we have partnered with Twitter to help trusted sources verify their accounts.

The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic – and help identify that account as a reliable source of information.

  • Who can apply?
    Emergency services organisations as well as public authorities in charge of public safety issues Please, note that, as per Twitter policy in the context of this specific initiative run with EENA, private organisations and individuals are NOT eligible and will not be considered.
  • How to apply?
    First, check that your Twitter account fulfils the following requirements:- Having a profile picture √
    – Having a banner picture √
    – A written bio explaining who you are and what you do √
    – Link to an official website (Facebook, LinkedIn or similar does not count, sorry!) √Then, simply fill in the form hereunder. Each application will be individually considered and followed up by Twitter – this process might take some time, so your patience will be appreciated!

Do you have any more questions? Do not hesitate to get in touch with EENA’s Press and Communications Officer Marta Azevedo Silva at [email protected]

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION HERE
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Cross-borders Next Generation 112

Next Generation 112 (NG112) incorporates new technologies to revolutionise the work of emergency services and shift from emergency calls to emergency communications

Emergency services risk missing out on the benefits of current tech developments: as we turn more and more to communication methods like messenger services, emergency services remain only reachable by voice telephone calls.

The concept of NG112 relies on developing a technical architecture that will integrate new technologies with emergency services by moving communications to internet-based protocols. Emergency response centres would thus be prepared to receive not just voice, but real-time text, photos, video calls and other data.

Not only can NG112 revolutionise the way citizens communicate with emergency services, but the concept also calls for interconnecting emergency services organisations by creating dedicated networks that will provide new possibilities and improvement of their working processes. Accessing all these new modalities of communications would provide emergency responders invaluable insight into the situation they are dealing with, greatly improving their work and results.

In April 2019, EENA launched a pilot project focused on demonstrating Next Generation’s 112 use in real-life environments. The project brings together international consortia where partners will test the technical architecture enabling NG112 in different European countries.

Emergency services from Austria, Italy, Denmark, Croatia and Turkey have worked to showcase how voice and data can be delivered to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in a full Internet-based Protocol (IP) environment, following international standards to develop and test different NG112 architecture modules.

First results achieved by the Austrian-Italian-Danish consortium CELESTE (Cross-border Esinet and LoST Emergency Services Testing) focus on the connectivity and routing capabilities within the NG112 architecture across international borders.

Already existing Next Generation emergency communications are typically bound to their country of origin. But neighbouring countries running systems based on standardised architecture could also be able to connect with each other, adapting to a reality that is increasingly mobile and cross-borders. With this in mind, CELESTE tested both regional and international settings for emergency communications.

The consortium succeeded at establishing emergency communications that included voice, video, and chat. On top of this, results of the project successfully proved an architecture enabling a re-routing across different countries and telecommunications vendors, paving the way for more connected emergency services.

The architecture behind moving forward from emergency calls to “emergency communications” can only result in an optimised, more efficient response. Technology is bringing the future closer than ever, and the possibilities coming with it can be, literally, life-saving.

 You can access the full CELESTE Report here.

Join CELESTE for a webinar exploring their results.

 

Apps

Mobile apps during COVID-19

Providing information, self-assessment clues, and even remote healthcare and contact tracing, mobile apps are becoming a key element in the response to coronavirus.

As social distancing and confinement strategies implemented worldwide call for new ways of communication, both public authorities and private initiatives are increasingly making use of apps to reach the population.

Mobile apps are indeed bridging the distance between citizens and organisations, but also have a potentially crucial role in tackling the next phase of coronavirus response. Contact tracing and tracking apps have become popular in East Asia and are credited for part of their success containing the virus. Currently, the approach varies throughout different societies, with a trend towards favouring these apps in support of public health authorities.

In our latest document, we analyse 108 apps in 73 countries, categorising them in five clusters: informational apps; self-assessment/medical reporting apps; contact tracing apps; multi-purpose apps and other COVID-19-related-apps. The document also looks into the spread of fake apps, and different malware and disinformation, together with some considerations on data privacy in Europe.

 You can access the document “COVID-19 Apps” here.

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Online platforms supporting public health authorities during COVID-19

As most of us are confined to our homes, tech companies are creating or adapting their technologies to help contain the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring that we stay connected.

The tech industry is finding different ways to navigate the outbreak: from downgrading streaming quality on platforms, to freeing bandwidth for the healthcare sector or fighting misinformation and disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For our new document, we have looked at the different initiatives of online platforms utilising their resources and expertise to help public health authorities, proving that the fight against this pandemic is also done online.

 You can access the document “COVID-19 and Online Platforms” here.

If you wish to update the information that is presented in this document related to your company or if you would like to include an online platform that is also helping public health authorities in the fight against this pandemic, please get in touch with Marta Azevedo Silva at [email protected].

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COVID-19: Global recommendations for emergency services

 

The Collaborative Coalition for International Public Safety (CC:IPS) has published a document of global recommendations for emergency services organisations to help them respond and prepare in the best way possible during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The comprehensive document aims to share recommendations for best practices so that countries across the world can learn from each other during these difficult times. It focuses on important challenges which emergency services – including Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) – are or may soon be facing.

These challenges include preparing for an overflow of calls, introducing new helplines, ensuring appropriate care of control room staff and communicating effectively with the public about the outbreak.

You can access CC:IPS global recommendations here.

 

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EENA is a member of the CC:IPS: a pact of public safety organisations launched on 4 November 2019. The other organisations involved are: the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, Canada (APCO Canada), the British Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (BAPCO), the National Emergency Communications Working Group – Australia / New Zealand, (NECWG-A/NZ), and NENA: The 9-1-1 Association. The organisations involved pledge to promote, support and improve emergency services utilising the most current and commonly accepted technologies, standards, and best practices. This latest document reflects the need for global efforts during challenging times.