Cornerstone Alliance

Technology

Local Government Association of South Australia

Sharing safety resources in emergencies

LGASA (Local Government Association of South Australia) provides services, support and leadership to South Australian councils for the benefit of the community. LGASA required an on-line, real time, set of integrated tools to exchange near-realtime updates on emergencies and also be able to share resources quickly and efficiently.
 
Ensuring ready availability of current information is vital to ensuring a consistent response, especially in Emergency situations. Cornerstone Alliance has partnered with LGA to create an innovative and efficient solution that will help not only the LGA but also Local Government Councils.
Local Goverment Association of South Australia i-Viss system

i-Viss

The i-Viss (Incident – Virtual Information Sharing System) allows for all emergency-related communication to be rationalised and visible in one location for all stakeholders to contribute to and upon. This helps improve response-times and safety in the event of an emergency activation. In association with the LGA, Cornerstone Alliance developed this solution as a pilot project to gain feedback from the stakeholders.
 
Prior to the development of i-Viss, information-sharing between organisations such as local government councils and control agencies (MFS/CFS) was handled via email, telephone and SMS traffic. The communication therefore was not transparent / visible by all individuals using the above media – which highlighted the room for increased information-efficiency.
 
The i-Viss solution extends to users in each of the 68 councils in South Australia to securely and quickly contribute to the information sharing activities. The future vision for this system includes integration with external communication systems like email, SMS and other applications as required to ensure a complete approach is achieved.

Benefits

Centralised Information Repository

All relevant information pertinent to an emergency event can be centralised within the single information repository of I-Viss.

Near-realtime information sharing

Information is updated on the portal in real-time, allowing for greater collaboration between councils and control agencies.

Customised workflows

Conditional triggers can be implemented to allow for rule-based workflows so that information efficiency can be maximised.

Technology Stack

Microsoft SharePoint Online was selected as the platform of choice for maximising LGA’s existing investment in O365. This also allowed us to easily reach the existing user base and leverage on the vast Microsoft ecosystem. The i-Viss solution creates a separate site instance for every emergency event and allows all related communication to be contained accordingly, following a well-defined records management approach.
 
Each active event is displayed on the dashboard and accessible by authorised users. The i-Viss solution includes predetermined security roles specified by the LGA and uses emergency-specific vocabulary to facilitate communication between stakeholders.
 
Emergency updates are entered via seperate information channels which assist with keeping information relevant.
These include:
  1. LGFSG Critical Messages
  2. LGO Updates
  3. Control Agency Updates, and
  4. LGFSG Updates.

i-Responda

The i-Responda app is an ‘in the palm’ resource for South Australian Local Government workers to use during emergencies. It allows for timely access to contacts and links, reminders, checklists, action plans and joint operating guidelines and more. This will greatly assist Local Government workers in making safe and effective decisions.

The key principle behind the i-Responda framework is to ensure that council personnel can participate safely and that risks to council and council personnel are appropriately managed. This is based on the fundamental concept of ordinary operations in extraordinary situations.

Prior to the development of the i-Responda solution: policies, procedures and other documentation were printed (hard copy), laminated and stuck on vehicle windscreens. Not only were the documents prone to extreme weather conditions, the information too could not be updated easily.

The i-Responda app makes this information readily available on mobile devices. The i-Responda solution is powered by a CMS (Content Management System) and content is updated on every device automatically.

Emergency Management Application development for Local Government Association of South Australia

The i-Responda app is developed using a hybrid app-development framework to enable multi-platform access across Apple/Android devices. This also reduced the development overhead, resulting in significant cost-savings for the business.

The content structure and navigation replicates the content structure in the CMS. This approach makes it easy for the business to present information to suit end-user and business requirements. A noteworthy feature is the ability to store information locally on devices, which is important in remote/low coverage areas.

Key features of the i-Responda solution include:

  • Automatically updated and locally stored information
  • Shortcut to specific content area
  • Integrated Search feature
  • In-built notification form

Benefits

Updated information stored locally

Information is updated upon app startup and content is stored locally on devices which allows emergency workers to access the information even while offline.

Push notifications to users

Content managers can use targeted push notifications to communicate with users.

Notification mechanism to business support

Users can submit an in-app form to notify business teams of incidents.

The way forward

Communication and collaboration in emergency situations is the key to ensuring speedy response and limiting any detrimental impact on community.  Based on the successful rollout and positive feedback, Cornerstone Alliance has been tasked with extending solution functionality.

Cornerstone Alliance

  • Hello@CornerstoneAlliance.com.au
  • Suite 8, 71 Angas Street, Adelaide 5000