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Success of the Second Training of the RESPOND-A project in Cyprus

Valencia – 05.10.2021. On 29 and 30 September, the EU-funded RESPOND-A Project, in which Fundación Valenciaport actively participates, has organised its second training session in Limassol, Cyprus, to familiarise first-responders with the use of RESPOND-A technologies.

In the first week of July 2021, a massive wildfire erupted in Cyprus, burning an area of around 55square kilometers and causing the death of 4 people. With the support of several other nations which provided assistance and firefighting aircraft (Greece, Israel, Italy, UK), the blaze was fully under control 48 hours later.

According to Christophoros STYLIANOU, Head of the Limassol Fire Station, “Wildfires are a permanent threat in countries such as Cyprus. It is important for us to be aware of existing innovative technologies that could help us to tackle these disasters more rapidly and effectively”.

RESPOND-A (Next-generation equipment tools and mission-critical strategies for First Responders) is an EU-funded research project aimed at enhancing the capabilities of first responders through the use of innovative technologies. Training is also a key component of the project to familiarize first responders with innovative solutions using realistic use case scenarios.

After a first edition that took place fully online in December 2020, this second training was held both online and on-site on 29-30 September 2021. The innovative technologies presented during the training included (name of the technology provider under brackets):  

– MAESTRO: a Real-time disaster area management system (IANUS)

– Tag & Trace: Easy-to-use Patients’Triage & Tracking System (PROMETECH)

– XBELLO: Secure 5G Application for real-time information exchange (8BELLS)

– BELL/DFF: Data Format Fusion System (8BELLS)

– UAV-based Communications System (ATMOSPHERE)

– Interactive multi-view VR360 video tool for enhanced situation awareness (I2CAT)

– Next Generation Connectivity Platform (ATHONET)

First responders had the opportunity to use and experiment these technologies, namely in a virtual reality (VR) fire scenario and field exercise. This exercise was not only a way for practitioners to experiment with these new technologies, but it is also a great opportunity for technology providers of RESPOND-A to collect feedback on the usability of their solutions.

Within the framework of this project, Fundación Valenciaport, in collaboration with the Port of Valencia and together with the Valencia Local Police, will carry out a pilot project at the end of 2022 to complement the current self-protection plans in and around the port in contingency scenarios, disaster mitigation, as well as search and rescue of people.

For more information on the project and upcoming activities: www.respond-a-project.eu

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