Title: Inter-organisational communication and situational awareness in an emergency operation centre during major incidents

Authors: Teija Sederholm; Simo Ekman; Heikki Paakkonen; Aki-Mauri Huhtinen

Addresses: Department of Leadership and Management, National Defence University, PL 7 00861 Helsinki, Finland ' Keski-Uusimaa Department for Rescue Services, Turbiinitie 4, 01530, Vantaa, Finland ' Department of Advanced Clinical Care, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Jan Magnus Janssonin Aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland ' Department of Leadership and Management, National Defence University, PL 7, 00861, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Sharing information between different public safety organisations plays a vital role during major incidents. Common situational awareness among the actors is a key element in achieving successful end results in managing and leading operations. In this study, the information flow for enabling situational awareness in an Emergency Operation Centre during a major incident is described. The data were collected during the preparedness exercise. Emergency Operation Centres play a fundamental role in creating collaborative awareness, familiarisation with organisations, long-term commitment, and thus in helping to tackle the known challenges in multi-authority coordination. In addition to being the place where critical far-reaching decisions were made, the Emergency Operation Centre played a very significant role as an information hub in cooperation and collaboration.

Keywords: collaboration awareness; command centre; common operational picture communication; emergency operation centre; incident; ICS; incident command system; major accident; multi-authority cooperation; situational awareness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2021.118771

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2021 Vol.17 No.1, pp.47 - 64

Received: 07 Oct 2019
Accepted: 25 Oct 2020

Published online: 28 Oct 2021 *

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