Keeping Citizens Safe
A common operating picture and real-time information are critical for enabling first responders to provide a coordinated, effective response to protect the citizens they serve.
Over the past decade, rising threats of terrorism and challenges to public order, malicious use of social media, and all crime sets have underscored the important role police, fire and rescue, and civil defence officers play in managing public events—from a local football match to the Olympic Games—and ensuring public order during political rallies and protests. Meanwhile, natural and man-made emergencies and disasters are increasing and can occur anywhere and on any scale, from a local house fire to a regional flood alert to an earthquake impacting an entire country, such as seen in Japan. Yet response organizations are under pressure to cut costs, even as they shorten their response times—often while coordinating their activities with those of other agencies, both in the control room and on the ground.
Because first responders operate in this complex and ever-changing working environment, it’s essential that they maximize their operational effectiveness and efficiency—and do so within increasing resource and budget constraints. This is particularly apparent now as governments at all levels are implementing austerity measures and guidelines for first responders that require them to review their operational and resourcing models, organizational structures, and cross-agency collaboration with the challenging objective to improve levels of service while reducing operational costs. First responders can best mitigate the risks of local emergencies and national disasters when they have access to a common, dynamic operational picture; one that can help them plan, manage, and respond to man-made and natural disasters as they impact both urban and rural areas. When first responders can communicate and collaborate in real time, both within and between crews and organizations, they are better prepared to coordinate their responses and act in a timely manner—and they enhance their ability to save lives and mitigate damage to property and infrastructure.
Microsoft solutions can help improve operational effectiveness and efficiency for first responders and law enforcement. On-premises and cloud-based solutions, enabled by technology from Microsoft and its partners, help coordinate response and information sharing across agencies—breaking down silos, enhancing real-time communication and collaboration, and deepening citizen interaction to share intelligence and accelerate investigation-led lifecycles. Unified communications technology also helps automate the management and sharing of inbound incident-based information across multiple agencies. It can empower staff from multiple agencies, assembled for incident response operations, with the familiar tools they use to support normal agency operations. The broad use of Microsoft technology across agencies provides a level of familiarity with solutions to help ensure that responders can leverage the capabilities they rely on every day. Another important consideration is to minimize learning time for responders and operators by providing familiar communication and collaboration tools that assist—rather than impede— effective response. Furthermore, First responders can share information with enhanced-security features to collaborate within and between multiple agencies or jurisdictions.