Navigating the Challenges of Adopting Emergency Management Software
The intersection of emergency management and technology plays a pivotal role in driving resilience culture and empowering communities. Join us as we delve into the inspiring journeys of Robin, CEO and founder of D4H, and Christopher, CEO and founder of Epicenter Innovation, both first responders turned innovators. Discover how their experiences led them to create businesses aimed at equipping emergency managers with the tools and knowledge to be effective before, during, and after disasters.
Developing Solutions for Emergency Managers
Robin Blandford CEO and founder of D4H, and Christopher Tarantino CEO and founder of Epicenter Innovation share the same mission; to empower resilience innovators to be more effective before, during, and after disasters. Both have created businesses by and for emergency managers.
We try to understand how resilience manifests itself in communities around the world, and how we can help drive resilient culture in various organizations around the globe.
Christopher Tarantino, CEO and founder of Epicenter Innovation.
Both Robin and Christopher started their careers as first responders. Robin worked with the Irish Coast Guard whom he still works with to this day. It’s through his work with the Coast Guard he began looking at the incident data they were gathering, and questioning how he could utilize the team’s data on people, equipment, and incidents to respond better to future emergencies. Today, D4H’s cloud-based software supports emergency responses in government, public safety, emergency management, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, aviation, corporate, and healthcare organizations worldwide.
Christopher began his career in EMS and the fire service, while also working in marketing and business. He aimed to blend his experience in incident management and business, developing Epicenter Innovation as a training company, and training emergency managers how to use emergency management software like D4H better to be prepared for emergencies and disasters. Both D4H and Epicenter Innovation have evolved and are now used by emergency managers but also by anybody responsible for building resilient cultures.
D4H work with a wide variety of customers, from the smallest search and rescue teams, volunteer teams, and community emergency response teams, right through to global enterprise, corporate businesses, airlines, and road traffic management companies. The aim of D4H is to ensure that the customer has a fully automated handover in place for when a small incident becomes a large-scale emergency.
Challenges when Introducing Emergency Management Technology
The mission of Epicenter Innovation is to support and guide people and communities in their preparedness for emergencies. However, one of the challenges faced when innovating for emergency management is facing the resistance to acknowledge the potential disaster. Both Christopher and Robin agree that to have a strong foundation for innovation, an organization should be made up of resilient people. Epicenter Innovation works towards providing the tools and information to support decision-making during an emergency. During an incident, technology can be a huge support to an emergency management team. A challenge faced by D4H is that people can resist new tools during times of high stress and revert to older methods such as pen and paper. The goal for D4H is to be the default source for emergency managers during an incident, providing an easy and reliable source of truth.
Satellite Technology for Disaster Response
As technology continues to develop globally, emergency management technology is used as a tool in even the most rural areas, supported by innovations such as Starlink Satellite Internet. . Technology is an integral tool for emergency management, an example Robin and Christopher discussed is with the use of Starlink in the war in Ukraine. In remote locations without power grids, the military is running the Starlinks off battery packs.
The D4H Pyramid
The investment into tech for emergency management is so important, but shiny toys and technologies must be must be supported with reliable and easy-to-use systems.
The Future of Emergency Management and Technology
The future of emergency management and technology will likely bring in increased specialization of emergency managers with larger-scale emergency management teams. Currently, the team at Epicenter Innovation are all emergency managers, and most team members along with being trained emergency managers also have a secondary expertise area, this supports the team to approach incidents with experience and unique skill set. For example, the increase in climate-related emergencies has inspired trained meteorologists to get secondary degrees in emergency management. These trained meteorologists can go on to work as emergency managers offering decision support, and combining the science for emergency management preparedness. The future for emergency management will bring an increase of digital native emergency managers, with the expectation to have technology integrated into everything, making technology in emergency management the standard. Climate-related incidents are increasing, this is the direction of the future of emergency management and technology preparing for emergencies such as flooding, droughts, wildfires, etc.
Final Recommendations for Emergency Preparedness
The recommended values for preparedness agreed by both Robin and Christopher are to keep things simple. Empowering and supporting community resilience, through simple solutions is the best way to foster resilient communities. The technology used to help you and your team with emergency management should be the best tool for your team, and start slow and build your way up.
Use open, connectable solutions that you can plug into each other.
Robin Blandford, Founder and CEO of D4H