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Search and Rescue Operations: what are the challenges?

Police, medical units and civil protection agencies conduct search and rescue operations within a critical 72-hour timeframe from the occurrence of a natural or manmade disaster, to locate and rescue survivors often in immediate need of medical treatment or evacuation.

Instable structures and hazardous environments render search and rescue operations extremely dangerous for both survivors and first responders. For example, physical, chemical, and biological hazards, poor visibility, logistic challenges, poor or damaged infrastructure, and limited knowledge of available resources make it difficult to detect survivors or recognize potential risks to first responders.

Armouring public safety services with up to date technology is critical to ensure the efficiency and efficacy of search and rescue operations.

Improving first-responder technology

How can we better equip search and rescue teams to improve the efficiency and efficacy of rescue operations?

The INGENIOUS project will develop, integrate, test, deploy and validate a Next Generation Integrated Toolkit (NGIT) for collaborative response.

The toolkit comprises a multitude of tools and services that are required to protect the health, safety and security of first responders, including:

  • Smart Uniform, Boots, & Helmet:
  • K9 Wearable Kit
  • Mobile Applications
  • Augmented Reality
  • Data Intelligence
  • Swarm Drones 

These tools will enhance first responders’ operational capacities by equipping them with the means to conduct various response tasks and missions with

  • autonomy
  • automation
  • precise positioning
  • optimal utilisation of available resources
  • upgraded awareness
  • information sharing between teams and victims

Ethical, legal and privacy impact assessment to ensure sustainable innovation

Trilateral assesses the ethical, privacy, and data risks that need to be considered in the development of the INGENIOUS Toolkit for the First Responder of the Future.

Trilateral considers the risks of developing new technologies for search and rescue operations and what measures are needed to mitigate these risks and ensure the health, safety and security of first response teams and victims in disaster scenarios.

Working with end users to assess new technologies

Trilateral engages technical experts, lawyers, civil servants, privacy advocates, human rights experts, and first responders to identify privacy, social and ethical risks in the development and deployment of the Next Generation Integrated Toolkit (NGIT), focusing on doing no harm, and possible side effects of technological solutions (e.g., discrimination).


For more information and updates, visit the INGENIOUS project website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 833435

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Crisis & Security

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