PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2ND JUNE 2005
Cool Solution for Emergency Control
Major fires, evacuations, chemical leaks and terrorist threats are among the emergencies that local authorities have to be ready to face at any time. That means having efficient procedures in place for communicating with other agencies and logging events under mounting pressure as the incident unfolds.
A software solution from Datawatch Corporation can help key staff to keep cool when the heat is turned on by automating many of the processes involved and keeping information flowing to the people who need it.
Datawatch have developed their approach in response to the changing role of local government in emergency planning following the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. Their aim is to provide a solution which helps public bodies to meet their responsibilities for working closely with the emergency services and other agencies, as well as keeping the public and the media informed.
The software is web-enabled, allowing secure access from laptops and handheld devices at the scene of a disaster or in temporary emergency control centres – vital requirements if mainframe IT systems and infrastructure have been affected by an incident. The Datawatch solution works by guiding users through a step-by-step logging process to ensure all incidents are recorded and the necessary information is captured.
As each incident is entered onto the system it is classified according to severity so that tasks can be automatically assigned to the most appropriate agency, saving time on decision-making and communications. At the same time, targets are set for responding to and resolving incidents, while a powerful planning engine ensures that Best Practice processes are followed at all times.
Built-in notification and escalation procedures prompt other agencies to respond quickly and complete the tasks assigned to them. So that everyone involved can work together smoothly and make informed decisions, the software provides a summary of the incident together with comments from other users.
Automated message delivery is also included to keep key members of staff up-to-date with key developments, while members of the public and the media can use a self-help feature and on-line bulletin board to find information for themselves instead of flooding the local authority switchboard with calls.
Other features include:
• Easy access to policies, procedures and response history
• Design and planning engine for mapping and implementing procedures
• Showing where there are organisational bottlenecks so that procedures can be improved
Cathy Lloyd, emergency planning specialist at Datawatch, said, “Whether it’s a suspicious package in a shopping centre or a river bursting its banks, local authorities need to be ready to act and to liaise with other agencies such as hospitals, schools and transport. They are also required to track incidents and decision trees meticulously so that there is a full audit trail for every emergency.”
Cathy added, “In talking to local authorities across the UK, I have been surprised that so many of them still rely on paper-based systems for record-keeping in emergencies. Sadly, it may take a real crisis to open their eyes to the shortcomings of their procedures and make them look at using a web-enabled solution instead.”
Further information on Datawatch solutions for emergency planning and other government services can be found at www.datawatch.com/businessintelligence/uk-public-sector.asp
About Datawatch Corporation:
Datawatch Corporation helps organisations easily access, store, distribute, transform and analyse information throughout the enterprise. From report management and analytics to data transformation and Internet presentment, Datawatch Corporation provides solutions that allow organisations to fully integrate and leverage their existing sources of information. Datawatch products are used in more than 20,000 companies, institutions and government agencies worldwide.
Datawatch public sector solutions are distributed in the UK by Datawatch, Cardinal Point, Park Road, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 1RE.
Alison Hall, Public Relations
Tel: 07899 986932
Tel: 07870 279233
Tel: 01923 437669
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