Ottawa Fire Service Public Safety Broadband Network Technology Demonstration

November 2016

Project Summary

ISR designed and developed a technical scenario for the Ottawa Fire Service (OFS) to test an experimental Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) that has been developed by the Communications Interoperability Research Test and Evaluation Centre (CIRTEC) established by the Communications Research Centre (CRC). ISR developed a live field play scenario requiring OFS HAZMAT deployment and response to a suspicious package using new technology capabilities were used by responders to verify their current functionality and to elicit potential future user requirements for the technologies.

Lead by the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) and the CRC, this technology demonstration was designed by ISR to allow OFS HAZMAT unit to deploy and respond to a live field play scenario. OFS personnel were equipped with multiple PSBN enabled devices which were used during the live response to identify how well they augment current response technologies, and how the tech can be modified or further developed to support responders during real events.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the PSBN technologies in supporting OFS HAZMAT response, ISR developed an exercise evaluation (EEG) guide which aligned with the OFS HAZMAT response procedures. The EEG was used to track the stages of response where the technology provided the most benefits and was subjected to qualitative analysis following the experiment.

ISR facilitated a plenary workshop with OFS HAZMAT personnel at the end of the exercise. Discussions were facilitated with participants who provided feedback on the usefulness of the technology, how it could be improved in its current state to further support response, and what functionalities they would like to see this technology have in the future. Following the plenary session, all participants were provided with a feedback survey whereby participants could record their experience(s) with the technology and provide ideas for potential future development of the technology.

The EEG, facilitated discussion and participant feedback forms informed the development of a report following the exercise outlining all key findings from the technology demonstration. The report outlined the benefits of the PSBN technologies in their current state, and provided multiple recommendations to CIRTEC engineers indicating how the technology could be modified to further increase response capabilities of the OFS HAZMAT team.

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