Welcoming address by Mr. Andreas Frantzis,
Civil Defence Commander
Use of SDSS and MCDA to prepare for disasters
or plan for multiple hazards”
Tuesday 5th of December
Aloe Hotel, Pafos, Cyprus
It is with great pleasure that I am attending the final Workshop of Decatastrophize.
First of all, I would like to welcome all of our Partners and Participants that arrived from abroad. I hope they will enjoy their stay in Paphos and that the Workshop will prove fruitful. Sincere thanks should also be given to each one of our Partners as well as the Coordinator who worked consistently and passionately in order to fulfill the requirements of the project.
I have gone through the tasks set down in the project and I have followed the progress that has been made so far. As a prospective end user of the provided tools, I am honestly enthusiastic about the capabilities of the envisaged system and the provided integrated tools and systems that will support response services in making the right decisions, gaining valuable time, and directing efficiently their forces to manage and tackle natural and manmade disasters.
Most importantly, the project will assist response authorities by providing an overall picture of the developments on the field by providing geospatial information, information concerning the forces on the ground, possible escape routes and other relevant information, thereby enabling emergency services to rapidly assess any threat and provide correct information and advice, both to the population and other response services to enable them to act accordingly, thereby saving lives.
Despite the groundbreaking work that is taking place, it is acknowledged that the biggest challenges for end users to actually use such tools concern various factors that may be related to the culture of the Organization, including that of disseminating information, the level of use of technology and the willingness to apply new technologies during emergencies and disasters.
To ensure the better integration of new technologies, organizations should allocate responsibilities and recourses in order to test any new technology, allocate time for training their personnel, set down standard operational procedures in order to link technologies to their everyday work and finally give the right feedback to the respective technology builders to improve the characteristics and function of the product in order for it to be more usable and useful.
Cyprus Civil Defence is committed to working consistently with all Partners and providing necessary support to the program in order for it to be adapted and used during emergencies. The Civil Defence, despite the fact that is staffed by a relatively small number of people, is actively participating in ground breaking projects, such as this one, in cooperation with esteemed partners in the field. The benefits from such cooperation are twofold: firstly, the Civil Defence ensures that it stays informed of and simultaneously gets to shape trends and developments in the field of civil protection, including technological ones, with the possibility to then apply this technology for the better implementation of its duties; secondly, it gets to cooperate with important players in the field and form ties that ensure its further development and exchange of knowledge and assistance, if so required.
Lastly, I believe that the following are necessary in ensuring a more effective prevention, preparedness and response to a disaster: better cooperation with research institutes, the provision of incentives to the public and private sector for them to take their own preventive and preparedness measures and, last but not least, investing in education and creating a transparent culture of prevention and preparedness that does not breach public trust but, on the contrary, creates an environment of cooperation that promotes group thinking and accountability among stakeholders.
Once more, I wish this workshop and the project partners every success.