When a natural or human sourced threat occurs, it is essential that people in emergency decision-making roles have reliable and relevant information available to enable effective situational awareness.
This group of decision-makers includes (but not limited to) chief wardens, security managers, security control centre personnel, facility managers, estate managers and precinct managers.
The following are free and very useful apps that may assist people who may witness or respond to security incidents and other emergencies.
Emergency+ app is a free app developed by Australia’s emergency services and their respective state or territory Governments and industry partners.
The Australian app uses GPS functionality built into smart phones to help a Triple Zero (000) caller provide critical location details required to mobilise emergency services.
This app should be considered as another essential safety tool for security personnel and lone workers.
- Enables emergency communication to ‘000’ and non-emergency calls SES and police with quick connect buttons.
- Provides your location (as a street address) and GPS coordinates (using ‘what3words’ location system), ensuring any emergency operator will know your location accurately and quickly.
- Provides other useful contacts such as the National Security Hotline, Crimestoppers, Police Assistance Line, Poisons Information Hotline, Lifeline, Health Direct and Royal Life Saving (provides critical emergency CPR advice for adult, child and infant patients).
Everybody in Australia should consider this app.
This Australian app is designed to help collect and preserve evidence about events you have experienced. It was designed by University of Sydney subject matter experts in eyewitness memory and police interviewing.
- Obtains on-the-spot recordings of incidents or events.
- Useful features to help witnesses and victims of an incident.
- Uses a guided recall procedure to maximise the value of your account of events and protect your memory of the event.
- iWitnessed can be used for any type of event, ranging from traffic accidents to terrorism. It can also be used to document both one-off and recurring events.
- You can enter information as text or record your spoken responses if you prefer. You can add images such as photographs (for example, of people, places or injuries) or screenshots (for example, of text messages, social media or emails).
- If you are online and give approval, each entry is ‘stamped’ with the date, time, and GPS location.
The UK app is a step-by-step guide on how the public can act to stay safe and save the lives of the injured. The app is focused on the preparation of individuals, communities and organisations to help themselves and each other when there are multiple casualties, particularly from terrorist attacks.
The information provided could save a life, particularly when emergency services are dealing with a huge demand with normal response times not being met.
This award-winning app was launched in 2017 for the UK community. It is designed and owned by a UK registered charity and developed in collaboration with St John Ambulance.
The practical information is based on the types of terrorist attacks and subsequent injuries experienced in the UK and the lessons learned to save lives. Preparing for these scenarios in Australia (and other countries) is important as terrorists have been known to be encouraged by, and emulate successful tactics used in foreign lands. The threat landscape is dynamic.
The realistic life-safety scenarios covered in this app go beyond the typical training provided in Australia and other countries.
- Provides clear life-saving step by step advice and treatment for life-threatening scenarios, such as knife attack, active shooter, explosion, bombing attack, vehicle attack and acid attack.
Be mindful that:
- Emergency phone numbers or other important details may not be relevant to your jurisdiction.
- Information may differ from the professional advice provided by first aid organisations in your jurisdiction or your first aid trainers. If this is the situation, seek their input.
In Australia, the ABC is the official national emergency broadcaster. The ABC website has a wealth of important information related to emergency conditions and emergency managemement.
Chief wardens and emergency management consultants should consider referencing the emergency section of the ABC website in their emergency response procedures and emergency management training.
Security managers should consider referencing this resource in their standard operating procedures (SOP).
The ABC website emergency section includes a page containing important resources and links, including apps:
With regards to apps:
- Read the licence agreement and privacy statement for each app to assess if you have any security or privacy issues.
- Understand any stated limitations with the app.
- Be mindful that information may be specific to the location of development, for example emergency phone numbers may be different to your jurisdiction.
- Be very familiar with the apps before an emergency eventuates.
- Ensure you have the latest version of apps.
- Place apps on your mobile phone home screen.
- Seek other useful apps and sources of reliable information.
- Please let us know if you discover other free apps worthy of readers to consider.
A few parting comments:
- Go beyond compliance in vulnerability assessment and training.
- Train your team to be prepared for the unexpected.
- Practise and evaluate your emergency response plans and recovery plans.
- Bolster your security culture.
Happy to discuss.
Geoff Harris, Principal Consultant – email@example.com or Phone +61 2 9560 9933
Harris Security Management
Trusted independent security consultants since 1983
Should you have a strategic, operational or compliance interest in the physical protection of people, infrastructure, property or supply chain, please ‘Follow us’ on LinkedIn.
Harris Security Management
- The above article is of a general nature only, it is not comprehensive and not contextualised. The article is intended to stimulate and focus conversation on security and related risk management.
- The discussion does not provide professional advice from us. Seek expert analysis and advice relevant to your specific context from trusted advisers. You are welcome to contact us.
- The article may raise legal issues to contribute to relevance, but in no way provides expert legal opinion or professional legal advice.
- We do not provide endorsement or assessment on information or research provided by others that may be referenced in this article. We do not claim intellectual property rights to information or research sourced externally in this article.
- We do not provide endorsement or assessment on information, product (for example apps) or research provided by others that may be referenced in this article.
- We do not claim intellectual property rights to information, product or research sourced externally in this article.
- Information from external sources including websites and apps, may change.
- The intellectual property rights of any logo included in the article other than that owned by Harris Security Management, are owned by other entities referenced to the respective logo.
- We take no responsibility for privacy protection, cyber risks or associated legal obligations of websites linked in this article.
© Copyright. All rights reserved. Sydney, Australia 2022.