The Association is a non-profit charitable association formed by the 80 British Columbia Search and Rescue groups. It exists to represent all of the volunteer Ground Search and Rescue teams in the Province. The association brings together SAR professionals to discuss and resolve issues, to access funding for training, to provide occupational health and safety support, to educate general public on outdoor safety and to act as a common link to information and resources for Search and Rescue practitioners across British Columbia.
Delivery of the Search and Rescue service in British Columbia has many unique challenges; not only is the province vast in size, but terrain and weather can be extreme. The 80 SAR groups, with approximately 2,500 registered volunteers, respond to over 1,500 incidents each year.This project is supported under the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (NIF), administered by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat (Public Safety Canada).
Every year BCSARA and agencies that support SAR struggled to plan and fund training. This is mainly due to the fact that there was no reliable data available on a provincial basis to establish the current level of training or to forecast what is actually required to address call volume and incident type.
Completion of an operational needs analysis established that a common records management system for certification and use of longer-term training calendars was needed. D4H Technologies was asked to put a solution in place to ease the centralized administrative burden of the organization as a whole and to help each of the independent SAR Teams manage their personnel, equipment and incident reporting records. They wanted to connect multiple teams together to report upwards to BCSARA and create large datasets to understand their resources, capabilities, personnel, and equipment available within their organization. BCSARA had a clear goal to develop and implement a provincial database that facilitates the following:
- Document operational history in order to identify and project trends in incident response.
- Use incident response history to identify and determine training requirements.
- Document and track training of all volunteers.
- Document and track equipment life-cycle asset management, including depreciation of major capital items.
- Document subject behavior profiles in an ISRID-compatible (International Search and Rescue Information Database) format in order to contribute to the NSS (National Search and rescue Secretariat) KMS (Knowledge Management System).
- Submission of task reports in an electronic format.
- Tracking of volunteer hours from task reports (operational), training, administration, maintenance, and prevention.
“The solution requested through a competitive RFP process needed to meet the complex needs of both the organization managing the teams and the teams themselves. Our complete organization records system allows them to share and manage data across all SAR units in the entire Province. Deep-dive down through teams into their incidents, membership, and training to compare. Full self-service reporting provides detailed statistics on all teams activities, with automated monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting. They’ve experienced a number of improvements in their organization;” Robin Blandord, Founder of D4H
D4H Technologies specialize in the deployment of solutions for the management of multiple or individual SAR teams. Our solutions allow SAR organizations to manage their incidents, personnel, and equipment and submit reports to Government Office for the creation of shared statistics. Experiences already include Country, Provincial, State, and Countywide deployments. To solve the problems faced by BCSARA, We provide a world-class software solution which has been tried and tested both in Canada and around the world.
The platform is designed exclusively for serving the needs of Search and Rescue organizations. Our software is available as a complete suite or can be broken down into independent modules; Personnel & Training, Equipment Management, and Incident Reporting & Analytics. The D4H platform is delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) available across multiple hosting options; supporting both Cloud and Dedicated Data Jurisdiction implementations. Solutions delivered in this way can be relatively easy and cost-effective method to provide extra business functionality in isolation to organizations currently supported internal network and applications. Our Cloud infrastructure is our primary and most economic deployment method for SAR customers. This was our proposed model for BCSARA, the cloud offers the best overall performance, simplicity, and uptime. In total, 320 volunteers from 80 British Columbia GSAR groups will receive the training. It is expected that the system will be fully-functional by April 2018, when 2,400 volunteers in 80 SAR groups along with partner agencies will have access.
Draft historical operational data and forecasts, with 91% of BC GSAR groups reported to date, took four months and 800 volunteer hours to generate. Moving forward, D4H will generate this data automatically, allowing sound financial planning to take place for critical operational decisions such as annual provincial, regional and SAR group training plans, recruitment and equipment upgrading.
The data will be utilized to forecast SAR team needs to identify trends, and provide critical data for researchers into subject behavior and search techniques. The software will also provide a platform for BC GSAR groups to submit incident reports and expense claims in an electronic format.
Lost Person behavior
D4H will generate vital information that has been extremely difficult to obtain in the past. The high incident call volume in British Columbia will generate significantly lost person behavior statistics that will be exported to the national data system. It will also provide key decision-making data. This evidence-based information will greatly assist in supporting the implementation and maintenance of the Alternate Support Model. This would greatly assist in standardizing how SAR responses are managed and documented.
D4H Products Used by BCSARA
D4H- Personnel & Training: Managing a SAR team’s most expensive assets - their people and their certifications. Many SAR organizations depend on volunteers as the backbone of the service they provide. We provide tracking that ensures volunteers are professionally trained and compliant with the standards each region or country requires.
D4H - Equipment Management: Organizing team equipment repairs, expiry dates, service history, weights, values, calibrations, and inspections. Always ensuring equipment is ready to go for any tasking. Inherent to dangerous environments is the dependency on personal protective equipment, safety lines, and survival devices always being in good operating order. We ensure SAR equipment always works.
D4H - Incident Reporting & Analytics: Helping teams create incident reports in a way that gives them information back that can actually benefit their organization. Recording all SAR operations in a common reporting format that allows teams to prove their value when responding to lost & missing persons, and those trapped or injured in remote and hostile environments.
D4H provides thousands of response teams worldwide with a complete readiness and response software solution. Our comprehensive suite of products will grant total control of incidents, personnel, and equipment. Recording over 15 million response hours per year, D4H solutions are deployed in more than 16 countries. Every day we drive efficiencies within clients’ industrial facilities, public safety teams, and corporate crises.
Founded in 2008 by Robin Blandford, combining his background in the Coast Guard with an accomplished and talented team of computer scientists, first responders, and emergency managers; D4H has since injected global visibility into tens of thousands of operations on every continent in the world.