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08 May 2018

Drone technology in fire services focal point at EENA conference in Ljubljana

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This year’s annual European Emergency Number Association (EENA) Conference - held in Ljubljana 25-27 April – was again an interesting event advancing not simply adoption and promotion of the 112 call number and its community but also a host of technologies and ideas that stimulate development in the European and wide telecommunications world.

 

By CTIF Special Adviser Dennis Davis

Notable were strong themes, for example, surrounding unmanned aircraft - or drones if you prefer - that are now entering the emergency field with the sort of sophistication you would expect in military applications. The increasing application of artificial intelligence both as an aid in creating virtual reality, effectively moving serious gamming to new levels, and as a tool augmenting decision making was prominent along with messages about how the data generated was the important outcome. There was exploration too of the vexed issues that inevitably accompany technology on the internet and within society such as privacy policy, cyber security, fake news and interventions on social media that can be helpful or intrusive.

CTIF Special Adviser Dennis Davis attended the recent 112 European Emergency Number Association event in Ljubljana catching up on latest technologies and networking
CTIF Special Adviser Dennis Davis attended the recent 112 European Emergency Number Association event in Ljubljana catching up on latest technologies and networking.

In addition there were ongoing  updates and information offered on numerous regular concerns of  emergency callers and handlers, their suppliers and regulators, including advanced mobile location, Reverse 112 – where SMS appears to be the method growing in strength – through to very recent changes in EU Directives, the advance of eCall – connecting car to public safety answering points (PSAP), insight into the vast myriad of mobile ‘phone Apps that apparently now not only have automatic caller location but have options to allow full interaction between caller and PSAP, and  demonstrations and presentations of innovative ideas and products.

On the final morning the Head of Unit at A2 Emergency Preparedness and Security at DG ECHO offered an update on EU emergency response (the Centre and Mechanism) indicating proposals to make prevention a stronger part of the strategy are underway EENA officers illustrated how community support has continued to influence EU emergency service legislation.

All these subjects were presented, debated and discussed between leaders in their field and a knowledgeable audience estimated over three days to number about 700 for 50 plus countries. Although CTIF did not make a presentation this year being present again witness at this event offered a worthwhile update of current thinking and equipment. In the near future it is anticipated EENA will make available online the various presentations www.eena.org.