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World’s largest volunteering organisation to give Australia life-saving advice

The American Red Cross will visit several emergency services and officials to share how technology can be used to save lives

The American Red Cross will meet with local Australian emergency services to share how technology can save more lives during disaster responses.

Australia is on high alert after fire authorities warned the coming summer would be the worst bushfire season in recent history. A representative from the American Red Cross, the largest volunteering organisation in the world, will share tips for how to survive it.

Senior Director of Business Infrastructure for the American Red Cross, Brian Keenum, will provide insights into the organisation’s new RC View tool, an application that uses Esri’s GIS technology to provide the workforce with real-time situational awareness.

“RC View brings together thousands of federal, state and local data sources into one dynamic picture that informs the decision and actions of our workforce,” Keenum said.

“Along with our partners, RC View has revolutionised our efficiency of workflow during large-scale national disaster relief operations, as well as everyday response to home fires and preparedness efforts within communities.”

Keenum will meet with Australian government representatives, safety authorities and emergency service agencies to discuss the online, data-driven software that is being used to boost effective response to large-scale disasters across the US.

“It’s a critical system for understanding the potential impact a crisis may bring, along with who will be affected the worst, how we should respond and the right place to focus our research in real-time,” Keenum explained.

“I can see enormous potential for GIS technology such as this to be used by emergency services authorities in Australia, where the threat of bushfires and extreme weather is a serious threat to communities.”

ACT Emergency Services Commissioner, Dominic Lane, said the ACT ESA was eager to learn from the American Red Cross’ use of advanced technology, understanding the potential advantages for their emergency response at a local level.

“The ACT ESA is always looking at ways we can improve the coordination of response efforts, which is a crucial step following preparation, in community-focused response.

“We know that on the worst days, Mother Nature will always beat us in relation to the impact of fire on the community, therefore it’s important we take all of our information, all of our resources and all of our technology and combine that together and use it collaboratively,” Lane said.

Keenum will provide unique insights into the importance of inter-agency operability and collaboration during a crisis, emergency response, community support and the changing role of technology in the face of danger.

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