KELOWNA — For years, emergency response agencies across the country have struggled to get and share important information during a large-scale disaster. But now, the Kelowna Fire Department and FDM Software in North Vancouver are breaking new ground on that front with the new Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS).
It’s an innovative web-based information sharing system that will allow a wealth of real-time information in emergencies to be accessed from a single point, allowing more effective communication.
“The army, the navy, the air force,as they make their way towards Kelowna, they’ll have that information at their disposal. So, they’re able to start planning what they’re going to do, before they even hit the ground,” says Brian Moore, Deputy Emergency Program Coordinator at the Kelowna Fire Department.
The ideas stemmed from Moore’s desire to find a better way of sharing information after seeing how communication between stakeholders broke down during the 2003 wildfires.
The Kelowna Fire Department is the first to post on MASAS but it’s available to dispatchers and agencies that are FDM clients across the country for free. The software is funded by Defense Research and Development Canada and was unveiled Friday as part of Emergency Preparedness Week.