From the 25th to the 27th of September 2018, a meeting of the project AlpDIRIS (Alpine Disaster Relief for Italy and Slovenia) was held in Palmanova, at the Regional Department of Friuli Venezia Giulia Civil Protection (PCRFVG) premises.
AlpDIRIS is a project funded by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO), and aims to design and develop ICT solutions for the mutual cooperation in emergencies between the PCRFVG and the Civil Protection of the Republic of Slovenia (URSZ): dedicated software platforms, mobile applications and 4G LTE stations for the communication on disaster sites.
Given the proximity of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia, the two Civil Protections signed a bilateral agreement (protocol), outlining the procedures for cooperation and information exchange during disaster relief operations. The digitalization of the data exchange steps foreseen by the protocol, which today happen through email and fax, was one of the main objectives of the project.

AlpDIRIS training exercise

On the 26th of September, a training day was organised, for the end users to make practice with the software tools implemented for communication and for sharing data relating to cross-border emergencies between Italy and Slovenia, including the possibility to request / offer support by asking resources to the counterpart or by making each own resources available.

Dr. Giovanni Tusa from IES Solutions, one of the technical partner of the AlpDIRIS project and responsible of the design and implementation of the software architecture and tools for data exchange, participated to the event to train the end users on the use of the tools implemented for data exchange.

After the initial introduction and presentations, the morning session of the training event was split in two parallel activities. One was dedicated to the test of the digital version of the Italy-Slovenia collaboration protocol in different scenarios:

  • forest fire and flood scenario happening in Italy close to the Slovenia border, with the PCRFVG operators informing and asking support to the Civil Protection of Slovenia (URSZ)
  • a flood scenario happening in Slovenia, close to the Friuli Venezia Giulia border, with the URSZ operators informing and asking support to the PCRFVG

Other activities were focused on the setup and test of the mobile applications, software tools and communication devices for simulating a disaster relief scenario with the involvement, among the other, of Fire Brigades and Mountain Rescue teams.

AlpDIRIS training exercise

During the afternoon session, the two aspects of the solutions implemented in AlpDIRIS were tested together: a search and rescue scenario was simulated, with the PCRFVG informing the URSZ that a hiker was missing in the Matajur mountain (province of Udine), and requesting the support of additional Search and Rescue teams from Slovenia. After the request / offer information exchange was completed using the software tools implementing the protocol, the committed resources on both sides started a Search and Rescue field exercise, supported by the software solutions and communication means developed by the project.

The training was a great success and the end users very interested and highly engaged, looking forward to continue testing the provided solutions on their own during the remaining month of the project, before the final provision and deployment in production, for their daily activities.