EM-COP Update

Map showing flood areas

A new web-based communication, planning and collaboration tool has been rolled out across Victoria this summer to enable emergency personnel to quickly share information and make strategic decisions.

Named EM-COP or Emergency Management Common Operating Picture, the online tool provides real-time situational awareness and a common view for responding personnel and agencies.

Through enhanced access to real time information, Victoria’s emergency management sector will be able to make better and more timely decisions, resulting in better outcomes and a safer community.

EM-COP is for everyone involved in an emergency, including first responders, emergency management agencies, personnel in the field, control centres, local government, not-for-profit relief organisations essential service providers, and others.

It is also flexible and adaptable and can be applied to all communities and all emergencies, before during and after.

EM-COP can be used out in the field, and at local, state and regional levels to support intelligence gathering activities for an evolving emergency.

It will be particularly useful in assisting with emergency management planning and response activities. As an event evolves, one of the most challenging issues is the effective sharing of information across disciplines and jurisdictions. Responders need timely and actionable information to inform effective decision-making, maintain awareness and make strategic decisions about appropriate readiness, response or recovery actions.

Key features include:

  • Multiple virtual collaboration rooms
  • Separate map per room with a variety of drawing tools
  • Base maps including Vicmap (cartographic & satellite), Google maps, and Melway
  • Data layers for incidents, boundaries, weather, tracking, and a very wide variety of other dynamic and static information layers
  • Measuring tools for distance and area
  • Whiteboard Room
  • Private chat
  • Document sharing
  • Permanent record of information
  • Public Warnings

EM-Cop was officially launched in November and will drive the delivery of public warnings and information for the 2016-17 season and be used to manage large-scale incidents.

The online-tool has been built using a tried and tested US internet-based product and has been used at a state level at the State Control Centre and by a number of agencies over the past two years to test how it could be integrated across Victoria’s emergency management sector.

EM-COP is currently being used by more than 100 agencies, organisations and government entities. Through being able to access a common operating picture, everyone involved in emergency management will be better able to collaborate with each other, improving efficiency, decision-making and operational activities.