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Supporting Teams in Mass Casualty Incident Management: Empirical and Analytic Research for Optimizing Augmentative Technology - Design Methodologies and Tools (IMTs MCIM)
Start date: 01 Aug 2014, End date: 31 Jul 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

There is an increase in mass casualty incidents and disasters resulting from nature disasters (e.g., super-storms, forest fires, earth-quacks and tsunamis, floods, etc.), accidents (oil spills, industry-related explosions, or train derailments, etc.), or terror attacks (e.g., 9-11, the London and Madrid bombing, etc.). Managing such incidents requires the well-coordinated rapid response of multi-agency and multi-professional teams (e.g., police, fire-fighters, emergency medical services, hazardous materials professionals, etc., from various local, national, and international agencies). The command and control (C2) of such incidents requires tight coordination among all involved agencies and teams such that each does their job and all together resolve the situation with minimal damage to lives and property. Effective C2 requires all to have timely and reliable information to be aware of the situation at all times and understand it. However, adequate information flow can breakdown during information gathering and transfer within and across teams and agencies. This can in turn degrade situational awareness and coordination, and result in poorer incident management. There is a need to understand better the factors influencing information flow and situational awareness within and across teams in mass casualty incident management in order to develop and assess solutions that can facilitate the incident management. The goal of this proposed project is to understand and improve teamwork, in general, and information flow and shared situational awareness, in particular, in mass casualty incident management.
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