Australia: The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) has successfully demonstrated the use of GIS technology to accurately determine how a city would fare if an earth quake hit it. The team used GIS technology to know where to deploy rescue workers and how to prioritise responses.
The QFRS team was leading an Australian contingent in Switzerland, where teams from more than a dozen nations gathered to ‘recreate’ a 7.1 level earthquake that destroyed the Swiss town of Basel in 1356. The firefighters from Queensland termed their system as Rapid Damage Assessment system. They used GIS technology to share geographic information about the damage. This ensured quick capturing, processing and visualising of data and enabled senior personnel to quickly allocate the required resources. The system also told them about the infrastructure that was still intact and could be used for emergency response. “The key challenge now is to determine how to fully integrate our system with other countries’ networks and processes,” said QFRS Executive Manager of Operational Capability Stephen Smith.