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Two EU-funded research projects aiming to establish a ‘common information space’ among emergency first-responders

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – Emergency responders in countries such as Italy and Spain face the same potential catastrophes such as earthquakes, but they remain deeply local in how they respond to disasters. The fragmentation is not just national. Local emergency responders such as firefighters, police, and border control officers often have trouble talking among themselves because they use different protocols and communications systems. Developing an efficient means of information exchange would not just improve the cross-border EU response to natural disasters. It would also improve the ways the local EU responders confront emergencies, making for faster response times and saving lives. During the past several years, two EU-funded projects have developed complementary projects for plugging the gaps that exist between cross-border responders as well as between cross-organisational responders such as firefighters, emergency medical responders and police. One is…

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