Taking the Advantage of Smartphone Apps for Understanding Information Needs of Emergency Response Teams’ for Situational Awareness: Evidence from an Indoor Fire Game

  • Vimala NunavathEmail author
  • Andreas Prinz
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9733)


In search and rescue (SAR) operation, a lot of information is being shared among different emergency response groups. However, one of the key challenges experienced by these rescue groups during SAR operation is obtaining the complete awareness of the situation from the shared information. Moreover, one of the key actions of rescue leaders is to get the needed information in order to coordinate effectively with other teams and perform well. So, in this study we conduct an indoor fire drill with the help of Smartphone application with two settings (without SmartRescue smartphone application and with SmartRescue smartphone application) to find out what type of information is mostly communicated in both scenarios and needed by response teams. The presented results combine observations, qualitative and quantitative data analysis on videotaped data after the game. The results indicate that information categories which are formulated more recurrent in second scenario than first scenario. This might be explained as technology is more effective for sharing the information which is available on the smartphone application for obtaining situational awareness and for coordination.


Information sharing Mobile HCI Emergency management tools Situational awareness Indoor fire game Smartphone applications Information needs Information categories 



This study is carried out in collaboration with the SmartRescue project led by Prof. Ole-Christoffer Granmo and co-funded by Aust-Agder utviklings-og-kompetansefond (AAUKF, projectnr. 2011-06). We would like to owe our gratitude to the Grimstad fire station personnel who supported us during the development of different stages of the experiment, to the students that took part in the game, and to Mehdi Lazreg Ben, Jaziar Radianti and Tina Comes for their constant support in the data analysis process. Finally, we thank the observers who provided their valuable suggestions after the game.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ICTUniversity of Agder (UiA)GrimstadNorway

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