Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#AFAC2014 in Wellington, New Zealand

It is good to be back with EMSINA Group at the AFAC Conference, this time in Wellington New Zealand. I am learning a ton about fire, emergency management, USAR, and LandSAR GIS activity in Australasia. 

Fire GIS Legend, Mark Garvey

Here are the highlights.

1) New Zealand Fire Service demonstrated their ability to deploy rapidly as a USAR team without sacrificing Geographic intelligence. They call it "Portal in a Box" which is a hardened kit that contains ArcGIS Server / Portal that connects to Collector and Operations Dashboard. When they get internet setup through their built in BGAN system, they can quickly connect to their ArcGIS Online account for sharing situational awareness with other agencies.

NZ Fire and their "Portal in a Box"

2) Eagle Technology introduced me to a number of Land Search and Rescue agencies that are beginning to implement MapSAR / IGT4SAR for lost person search incidents. In addition I shared information with them about SAR Explorer for getting started with using GIS for SAR. I am extremely impressed by Youth SAR who are teaching themselves GIS and beginning to provide their skills during Search incidents.  

3) The EMSINA Team continues to provide great awareness to government agencies in Australasia about mobile apps and GIS resources that are already available to them - just not being utilized during emergency operations. GeoCove, AAMGroup, Noggin, and Red Bluff Spatial were all here demonstrating their GIS Solutions & expertise as well. 

This was a great trip and I look forward to seeing all of the community development in the next year. New Zealand is amazing I can't wait to come back.

Red Rocks south of Wellington