Information sharing in interteam responses to disaster

Name of the provider (company name or main contact name), or FIRE IN ID ? Waring, Sara; Alison, Laurence; Carter, Grace; Barrett-Pink, Chloe; Humann, Michael; Swan, Lauren; Zilinsky, Tomas

CCC addressed

Scope, rationale, context: general description. Precise here if this technology is currently use (eg. company name or contact info) Research demonstrates that information sharing is facilitated by familiarity, and having a common understanding of problems, use of lexicon, and semantic meaning. These factors can be difficult to develop within extreme environments such as disasters as members of the multi-agency system that responds often have limited experience of working together. Public inquiries repeatedly highlight the impact of information sharing difficulties on public safety, but limited academic research has focused on identifying concrete behaviours that facilitate interteam information sharing within such environments. This paper presents a case study of a national disaster response exercise involving 1,000 emergency responders. Data consist of structured observations, recordings of interteam meetings, and interviews with emergency responders. Results of mixed-method analysis indicate that interteam information sharing is delayed by limited situation awareness and poor articulation. Conversely, adopting behaviours that promote common frames for understanding interteam capabilities and information requirements improves information sharing and potentially reduces cognitive effort required to process information. Findings contribute to interteam communication theory by highlighting that in complex, time-constrained environments, having a shared understanding of responsibilities and information requirement is important for minimizing redundant deliberation and improving relevance and speed. Practitioner points Facilitating the exchange and interpretation of relevant information is important for improving situation assessment, decision-making, and the implementation of appropriate actions for addressing risks. Interteam information sharing can be particularly challenging when teams are comprised of members from across different organizations with different language and cultures that must form ad hoc to rapidly respond to problems in extreme environments. Adopting communication strategies that develop common frames-of-reference can facilitate information sharing and interteam responses to disasters.

If applicable, choose the relevant working group (Ctrl touch to select more than one) Search & Rescue Emergency Response Structure Fires Landscape Fires Crisis Mitigation Natural Hazard Mitigation CBRNE

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Short description of the solution. Technical details if relevant. Keywords.

Research demonstrates that information sharing is facilitated by familiarity, and having a common understanding of problems, use of lexicon, and semantic meaning. These factors can be difficult to develop within extreme environments such as disasters as members of the multi-agency system that responds often have limited experience of working together. Public inquiries repeatedly highlight the impact of information sharing difficulties on public safety, but limited academic research has focused on identifying concrete behaviours that facilitate interteam information sharing within such environments. This paper presents a case study of a national disaster response exercise involving 1,000 emergency responders. Data consist of structured observations, recordings of interteam meetings, and interviews with emergency responders. Results of mixed-method analysis indicate that interteam information sharing is delayed by limited situation awareness and poor articulation. Conversely, adopting behaviours that promote common frames for understanding interteam capabilities and information requirements improves information sharing and potentially reduces cognitive effort required to process information. Findings contribute to interteam communication theory by highlighting that in complex, time-constrained environments, having a shared understanding of responsibilities and information requirement is important for minimizing redundant deliberation and improving relevance and speed. Practitioner points Facilitating the exchange and interpretation of relevant information is important for improving situation assessment, decision-making, and the implementation of appropriate actions for addressing risks. Interteam information sharing can be particularly challenging when teams are comprised of members from across different organizations with different language and cultures that must form ad hoc to rapidly respond to problems in extreme environments. Adopting communication strategies that develop common frames-of-reference can facilitate information sharing and interteam responses to disasters.

TRL of the proposed solution - Innovation stage (if applicable) Not applicable

Web addresses/URL of flyers and information 10.1111/joop.12217

Expected/scheduled future developments

published in 2018

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