Not everyone has the ability to care for themselves during an emergency or a disaster. Grey County is testing new technology that will help medical and emergency response agencies locate vulnerable people during a crisis.
“With changes in the health care system over the years we are seeing more people with complex medical conditions managing their health from home. We also know more seniors are aging in place and staying at home longer,” said Grey County’s Director of Paramedic Services, Kevin McNab. “These residents are very capable of living independently but may require help evacuating or dealing with the effects of an emergency or disaster.”
The technology, called SAVE, uses a series of mapping layers and data to help first responders locate and serve vulnerable people during an emergency. SAVE can register vulnerable people, volunteers, and resources. It also tracks emergency personnel in the field, maps areas impacted by the crisis and monitors relevant conversations on Twitter.
“SAVE gives us the situational awareness we need to take care of the people that need it most. From one application we can track a lot of moving pieces, set priorities and use our resources more effectively,” said McNab.
Grey County staff tested the SAVE platform in a simulated emergency on May 11, during national Emergency Preparedness Week. Multiple local partners were involved in the exercise, including paramedic services, social services, transportation staff, the Southwest LHIN, home-care, hospitals and other partners. The exercise will be evaluated so improvements can be made before it is officially ready for production.
Grey County is the first of three counties testing the SAVE platform. Lambton County and Essex County will also be running a test exercise later this year. Other partners in the project are Interdev Technologies, the Southwest LHIN, and Canadian Safety and Security Program.
The SAVE project is funded by the Canadian Safety and Security Program. This federally-funded program is led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, in partnership with Public Safety Canada.