S-HELP Flooding Scenario - 'Drawbridge'

The final S-HELP test scenario, a simulated flood incident, took place on the 25th of November in the regional emergency co-ordination centre at Anglesea Street Fire Station, Cork. As in previous scenarios (chemical and biological) the intention of these simulated disasters is to reflect realistic threats, representative of the different categories of threats: natural, deliberate, accidental and/or technological will be used to achieve validation, to test the decision-making capability of participants using the S-HELP system, and how the system informs the user and facilitates better decisions. 

Participants from a number of prominent emergency management agencies such as the Gárdaí Síochána, the Fire Services, and the local authority were present on the day. S-HELP project consortium members representing UCC- BIS, UCC-ASSERT, HSE and FAC were also in attendance. 

Confirmed participants received login details to access to the public version of the S-HELP platform in addition to an informational video about the S-HELP Decision Support System, and also received an email before the scenario to familiarise them with the tool before the scenario took place. 

On the day, attendees were welcomed with a brief introduction to the S-HELP project by coordinator Dr Karen Neville,  and Dr Peter Daly from HSE. A number of injects were presented to participants in order to encourage them to interact with the system and to make decisions. Participants were supported during the exercise by S-HELP team members and an information pack containing the agenda, an information tool sheet, the S-HELP information sheet, user guide, and evaluation form.

During the day four ‘ad breaks’ were scheduled. These breaks were created to demonstrate S-HELP tools that were not used in the Flood Scenario or that required further attention such as the Learning Management System, the Landing application card, Taxonomy and Rasberry Pi / Volunteer organisations app. 
Pauses were scheduled into the exercise to collect feedback from end-users. A paper survey was designed to gather responses in relation to system usability and  suitability for purpose. Two additional surveys were created to capture information about the LMS and the Landing Application Card. Both tools were demonstrated during the lunch break in separate rooms. Participants who interacted with the system were encouraged to answer these surveys.
The S-HELP Flood Scenario was the last scenario used to evaluate the S-HELP DSS and was designed after evaluating the feedback gathered in the Biological Scenario (Tel-Aviv, Israel) and the Chemical Scenario (Dublin, Ireland). 

Materials created to ensure the smooth running of the exercise will be utilised by the project to further its dissemination and training objectives. A video which was was prepared for the exercise will be used as product introduction tool. Additionally, the user guide created for the Biological and Chemical scenario have been further developed to integrate new functionalities and modules and is being used as training material. A course for the LMS is being developed to showcase how to use the S-HELP system.  Finally, the Tool information sheet has been updated to cater all tools included in the last version of the S-HELP DSS.
The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, and will be incorporated into the outstanding reports being created for the European Commission to illustrate the results from the project. Comments and recommendations received on the day will inform the further enhancement of the tools. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016