Cross-border cooperation improving disaster response
Two cross-border regions in Italy and Austria have developed an online platform, which is helping them deal more effectively with emergency situations and improve civil protection.
" The disaster resource database and the new Internet portal in particular have been created as long-term ICT infrastructure. They will significantly strengthen the cross-border network that enables the two partners to cope with disasters and crises, and therefore make a significant contribution towards reducing environmental damage in the project regions as well. "
The SISSIE project was established by the Alpine regions of Carinthia and Friuli Venezia Giuli in order to exchange data in real time and deliver information quickly in response to a disaster. The SISSIE platform allows both regions to provide mutual assistance in the field and to coordinate rescue operations across the border. The project brought together experts in a variety of fields, including flood control, air pollution, chemical hazards and mountain rescue.
The project team developed two disaster resource databases, which contain all the information relevant to coping with a crisis, including a roster of experts, details about emergency accommodation and provision of first aid resources. They also provided risk assessment data on such issues as avalanche security and protection of cultural assets.
The databases were then linked to a jointly developed user-friendly IT interface, which can be accessed in both the Italian and German languages. Extensive training has been provided to all relevant personnel and two-cross border, large-scale exercises were carried out to test the system under real-life conditions. Public relations work was also undertaken to raise awareness of the project’s work with the inhabitants of both regions. In addition, the project’s accumulated knowledge has been published on a SISSIE wiki page.
The project provides a lasting legacy as it will continue to help save lives and protect property. Thanks to the multi-lingual online platform, it is possible to access all the key resources and information required to tackle any type of crisis situation – something which will greatly assist rescue services on both sides of the border.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “SISSIE, Safety information service for Carinthia/Friuli Venezia Giuli” is EUR 273 500, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 173 606 from the Operational Programme “Italy-Austria” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.