Insta is supporting the Voluntary Rescue Service (Vapepa) by providing the local committee in Sea Lapland with the Insta Blue Aware situational awareness solution and the related Insta Blue Tracker mobile application for six months. The management system, which combines a situational awareness solution and a mobile application, is used to share real-time situational information between voluntary rescue service units in the field and the authorities’ control center. The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of search and other operations, improve search security and provide help more quickly.
The Voluntary Rescue Service is a network of more than fifty organizations. It operates on land, in the air and on water, helping the authorities with searches for missing persons, evacuations and catastrophe relief. The Voluntary Rescue Service joins operational activities at the request of the authorities and operates under the authorities in charge of the situation. The network consists of 11,000 trained volunteers.
The local committee in Sea Lapland uses the Insta Blue Aware situational awareness system in control units that the regional leader establishes in search situations, for example. The Insta Blue Tracker mobile application is used by search patrols and other units in the field. The applications are used to share real-time situational pictures of the units in the field and the task at hand.
“Situational pictures improve efficiency in search situations, and they are also a security consideration, which is why it’s necessary to see the real-time locations of the searchers in the situational awareness system. Through the system, search patrols also have access to up-to-date information about the tasks and their content. For example, a new search section can be drawn directly on the map in the application on a mobile device,” says Hugo Helminen, Chair of the Sea Lapland local committee.
“Insta Blue Tracker is ideal for the use of the Sea Lapland local committee. We will provide volunteers with training in using the application, and we will use all the current functionalities in various ways in operations during the experiment: location and map information, alerts, chat discussions, push-to-talk calls and videos,” says Helminen.
At the 2021 Rescue Services Seminar in Saariselkä, the Sea Lapland local committee participated in a search exercise involving several operators that used the Insta Blue Aware situational awareness system and the related Insta Blue Tracker field application. The feedback on Insta’s system was positive.
“Closer and more effective cooperation between the Voluntary Rescue Service and the authorities is an important development focus for future operations. Based on my experiences, I would say these applications will be useful even in this respect,” says Helminen.
Kuvat: Annikki Von Pandy
Video: An exercise at the 2021 Rescue Services Seminar (filmed by Petri Hietala).