../Morning Post
Posted November 9, 2009
Protecting the Beaver

Carleton Partners with Industry and Government to Combat Terrorism and Protect Canadians in the Event of a Disaster

Ottawa – Ground-breaking software applications to combat terrorism and protect Canadians in the event of a disaster have been developed by Carleton University and AMITA Corporation with planned deployment at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Casualty Care Continuum (CCC), a unique joint project of Carleton’s Human Oriented Technology Lab (HOT Lab) and AMITA Corporation, is a casualty management system targeted for use by the British Columbia Ambulance Service that allows first responders to quickly identify and track victim injuries in the event of a major disaster.

“When industry partners with government and academia, we can achieve great success,’’ says Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. “By combining the knowledge of our faculty, the assessed needs of the community and the capability of business, we can positively impact the lives of Canadians.”

The casualty tracking system provides a method of transmitting data on victim injuries to health care and emergency co-ordination agencies so they can provide fast and effective emergency response. Hospitals would know exactly what is wrong with victims the moment they arrive and decision-makers could have access to real-time information on the size and scope of the unfolding incident.

The tracking system is based on AMITA’s Rapid Triage Management Workbench (RTMW).

“The RTMW system will enable the B.C. Ambulance Service to move ahead with improved patient tracking and real-time communication with partner agencies and health authorities,’’ says Rene Bernklau, Provincial
Co-ordinator of Hazardous Substance Response for the CBRNE Team Emergency Management Office of the British Columbia Ambulance Service.

“The benefits of the system will be felt downstream by our patients, paramedics, dispatchers and first receivers. The real-time communication technology and support will improve patient care.’’

A second software application, SOCIUS, is already accessible nation-wide by the RCMP. It captures highly technical overviews of incidents involving the terrorist or criminal use of materials such as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The information can be shared with a large community of responders, including military and civilian, in Canada or beyond its borders.

“SOCIUS is an invaluable tool for bomb technicians to remain current on emerging trends related to hazardous devices and the most appropriate means to conduct safe operations and investigations. It is extremely easy to use and maintain high proficiency in all functionalities,” says John Bureaux, former Officer in Charge of the RCMP’s Explosives Disposal and Technology Section and project team lead for the development and implementation of the system.

“The ability for SOCIUS to exchange incident information amongst countries will aid in tracking and interdiction of international terrorists/groups.”

Carleton’s HOT Lab, led by Psychology Professor Gitte Lindgaard, designed the user interface for both systems. Research in the HOT Lab focuses on understanding how interactive technology should be designed to maximize user satisfaction, effectiveness and efficiency. It also ensures that the user interface is visually appealing and user-friendly. Defence R&D Canada is the team lead of CCC, while AMITA provided project management and led the technical system development, featuring the database structure and tracking functionality for both projects.

“Carleton University and AMITA Corporation have a long history of collaboration,” says Sonny Lundahl, the company’s Vice-President of Research and Development.

“Our partnership on these vital systems will protect the lives of Canadians and give law enforcement agencies the upper hand in combating global terrorism.”

The projects received funding through the Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Research & Technology Initiative (CRTI). CRTI is led by the Defence R&D Canada (DRDC) – Centre for Security Science (CSS), a joint endeavour between DRDC and Public Safety Canada. DRDC CSS’s mission is to strengthen Canada’s ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents that impact on Canada’s safety and security through investments in science and technology.

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