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Global recommendations on managing Covid-19 outbreak for emergency services

Posted on 8th April 2020 at 15:52pm

The Collaborative Coalition for International Public Safety (CC:IPS) has published a document of global recommendations for emergency services organisations to help them respond and prepare in the best way possible during the Covid-19 outbreak.

This public health emergency is a challenge for all organisations, but particularly so for emergency call and crisis management centres, which have been flooded by calls at an unprecedented level. For example, the USA has recorded more medical-related emergency 911 calls than during 9/11. On February 16, 2020 – before any cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed – the 112 centre in Milan, Italy, received 5,086 calls. The first case was confirmed on February 17 and, by February 22, the centre had received 10,657 calls. Meanwhile, in Spain, calls to 112 Catalonia tripled

Staff depletion owing to sickness and misinformation are further challenges that these professionals now face.

In order to help organisations respond and prepare in the best way possible during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Collaborative Coalition for International Public Safety (CC:IPS) has complied a set of recommendations.

The comprehensive document aims to share recommendations for best practice so that countries across the world can learn from each other during these difficult times. It focuses on important challenges which emergency services – including Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) – are, or may soon be, facing.

These challenges include preparing for an overflow of calls, introducing new helplines, ensuring appropriate care of control room staff; and communicating effectively with the public about the outbreak.

Gary Machado, Executive Director of the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), commented: “This comprehensive document reflects the need for global efforts in this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this document will be valuable in helping public safety organisations and emergency professionals navigate this outbreak in the best way possible.” 

CC:IPS is a pact of public safety organisations that was launched on November 4, 2019, with its members pledging to promote, support and improve emergency services, utilising the most current and commonly accepted technology, standards and best practice. Members include: EENA; Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, Canada (APCO Canada); the British Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (BAPCO); the National Emergency Communications Working Group – Australia / New Zealand; (NECWG-A/NZ); and NENA: The 9-1-1 Association.

You can access CC:IPS global recommendations here.

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