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Consensus for Change – case studies by Top Three Themes

Safety Expectations Redefined

INIT, a Germany-based worldwide leading supplier of IT solutions for public transport creates integrated transport systems that use technology to make public transport more attractive, safer and more efficient.

This ranges from command-and-control systems to transport planning tools and ticketing and fare management solutions. What all these systems have in common is that they rely on the secure and robust transmission of communications and data.

The challenge during the pandemic is that transport operators urgently needed to understand the occupancy levels of vehicles and ensure that customers adhered to social distancing rules. It was important to enforce these rules in the moment, but it was also crucial to have a solid, data-driven understanding of usage and compliance patterns, to enable long-term planning of transportation networks.

INIT’s solution is to redirect passenger counting data from sensors installed in its customers’ vehicles to back-end systems to analyse usage patterns and monitor for safety and social-distancing compliance.

Using statistical tools, the benefits are that INIT’s customers can precisely plan their operations around social distancing requirements.

Using statistical tools, the benefits are that INIT’s customers can precisely plan their operations around social distancing requirements.

They can monitor vehicles in real time to ensure compliance and use this intelligence to keep customers informed on real-time travel updates, via mobile apps and other channels.

“It has become increasingly important to provide precise and task-specific data to keep the public

safe. The operators need it to plan their daily operations including planning for new stops, how many vehicles they need and contingency planning for unforeseen incidents. Passengers also want to access information about how their services are running via their mobile phones,” said Klaus Janke, Managing Director, INIT.

Accelerated Innovation

Fire and Rescue New South Wales, Australia protects over 7 million people, in an area of Australia that’s over three times the size of the whole U.K. The service responds to more than 129,000 emergencies a year. To do so, it fields around 7,000 firefighters, working across 335 stations with a fleet of over 700 vehicles.

Fire and Rescue NSW faces the challenge of having had to respond to a wide range of serious events in recent years including the catastrophic 2019/2020 Australian Black Summer bushfires which burned an estimated 18.6 million hectares (46 million acres) and killed at least 33 people.

To maintain and improve its high standard of operational efficiency, the service needs technologies that are rugged and robust enough to withstand harsh Australian conditions. It also requires solutions to drive improvement in its response to major incidents and enable frontline and command centre staff to work more efficiently in times of extreme pressure.

The solution is that the agency’s Communication Centre handles emergency calls with a computer aided dispatch system that helps to identify the location of callers and the nearest and best resources to attend to an incident. It has also introduced GIS (geographic-information system) technology into its fire trucks with mobile data terminals to provide the caller’s details, status messaging and turn-by-turn instructions to an incident.

It also depends on voice communications during major emergencies. It is currently exploring ways to extend the reach of its mission-critical voice communications via carrier and satellite links to support, firefighters working in extremely remote environments.

Through a combination of advanced technologies, the benefits are that the agency can respond with great speed while maintaining high levels of safety for firefighters and the community. It is also planning for the greater use of cloud technology and other solutions including biometric sensors to obtain vital information and live video streams from firefighters in the field.

“We don’t want our paramedics walking around like Robocop with 50,000 things hanging from their belts.”

“Firefighters already have so much to think about when they arrive on a scene – what’s happened, who’s injured, toxic gases, electricity lines and other hazards. They’re thinking about all these things. If you introduce new technology, it’s got to be seamless. The technology needs to keep them safe without them needing to actively think about it”, said Paul Barnes, Director IT Operations & Communications, Fire and Rescue NSW

Trust and Transparency

Ambulance Victoria (AV), Australia provides emergency medical response to more than 6 million people throughout an Australian state spanning more than 227,000 square kilometres. The Emergency Management Unit coordinates AV’s response to major incidents across the state including heatwaves, bushfires and floods. Ambulance Victoria is an emergency service accustomed to performing under high degrees of pressure and scrutiny. The ambulance service is measured against numerous benchmarks for its response times as well as how its clinical interventions affect patients.

In an environment where expectations for fast and effective service delivery and the protection of citizens’ private data are both high, AV believes technology innovation and patient care have now become inseparable. It uses a combination of technologies including secure, private voice and data communications to manage its workflows and satellite services to navigate the most direct route to a scene.

A Motorola device at work

AV also aspires to centralize more data and communication across its entire service and is pursuing a vision to convert all of its ambulances into digital data hubs with “connected paramedics” also having access to reliable and seamless tools that work easily and integrate different technology types.

“We don’t want our paramedics walking around like Robocop with 50,000 things hanging from their belts,” says Anthony Carlyon, AV’s Executive Director Operational Communications.

“We want them to have the smartest tools at their disposal that allow them to focus on what matters most – delivering outstanding patient care without putting themselves or their patients at risk.”

Like other emergency medical services in this report, the pandemic placed significant demands and pressures on AV. This has included new risks for paramedics and periods of extreme demand for ambulances while creating even greater volumes of data for the agency to manage.

Mark Rogers, Ambulance Victoria’s Chief Operating Officer, said the increased adoption of telehealth services in Australia had helped to alleviate some of the pressure.

“Telehealth wasn’t really a thing in Australia just over 12 months ago. Doctors weren’t really using telehealth to treat their patients before, but after experiencing the pandemic, I don’t think things will ever go back to the way they were. The increased use of public telehealth services has had a direct impact on increasing our availability to attend higher priority calls, especially in rural communities,” said Mark Rogers, Chief Operating Officer, Ambulance Victoria.


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