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Multi Agency Situational Awareness System

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Greetings, I was recently at a
conference at which this federal government pilot project was announced. I
signed up for an account at the website and although it is currently rather
unwieldy, feedback from beta users would help address the issues and to
streamline the information. With the discussions regarding MDTs and AVL, this
initiative could prove useful in emergency response as well as real time GPS
navigation rerouting due to road closures. Information is not just limited to
road information; weather warnings, natural or man made disasters, floods, and
any other information that may affect emergency responses can be
The United States has a similar system in place but the name of it escapes me.


Situational awareness (SA) is essential to the planning and execution of
emergency response efforts. In broad terms, SA is being aware of what is
happening around you and understanding what that information means to you now
and in the future. Those working in critical environments, like responders,
incident commanders or emergency managers, are highly dependent on SA
information to make decisions and perform their duties. SA tools enable access
to knowledge, facilitate the sharing of information in real time, and assist in
making strategic decisions and developing proactive solutions. Several different
SA tools are used across Canada and the ability to connect these different tools
for shared SA is a critical capability to improve interoperability and ensure a
more efficient and effective response.

Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System Development Initiative

MASAS is a multi-stakeholder federally-led initiative that aims to develop
and support capabilities that will enable the sharing of location-based
situational awareness information and alerts between emergency management and
response agencies using open standards and an open architecture. The MASAS
initiative is led by the Defence R&D Canada – Centre for Security Science,
in partnership with Public Safety Canada and Natural Resources Canada, and
represents an impressive collaborative effort involving federal, provincial,
territorial and municipal governments, non-governmental organizations and

MASAS Information Exchanges (MASAS-X) Pilot Project

In November 2011, the Defence R&D Canada – Centre for Security Science
launched the MASAS-X Pilot Project in support of the broader MASAS Development

MASAS-X is focused on operationalizing the pan-Canadian operational, exercise
and training information situational awareness information exchanges that link
the many stakeholders. These core operational services are being managed through
a centralized office to offer a stable, reliable, resilient, long-term shared
situational awareness capability within the Canadian public safety (and critical
infrastructure) community.

MASAS-X is the first step in building an enduring national MASAS capability
that aligns with Public Safety Canada’s Communications Interoperability
Strategy and Action Plan for Canada

MASAS-X Content

MASAS-X supports the distribution of authoritative alerts and situational
awareness information, with a focus on non-sensitive content that can be openly
shared within the greater emergency management and public safety (EMPS)

As per MASAS principles and technical architecture, the content in MASAS-X is
published directly by the source, with some content coming from polling
authoritative public domain sources, such as government Web sites and various
sensor systems.

Registered Pilot participants can, without fee, post and consume situational
information to and from other users through MASAS-X by using their own
application(s) or by using the basic MASAS-X tools. Examples of MASAS content

  • Road closures, including planned (due to road maintenance or security
    operations) or imposed by natural hazards such as floods and blizzards.
  • Community closures or temporary relocations in the north or remote regions.
  • Natural hazard alerts (i.e., earthquake, tsunami, space weather).
  • Hazardous materials or incidents involving chemical, biological,
    radiological-nuclear or explosives agents.
  • Water/stream level sensor alerts.
  • Points of interest information (i.e., rest stations, first aid, emergency
    shelter, etc.).
  • Perimeters of wildfires, quarantine zones, events, etc.
  • Search and rescue activity.
  • Sandbagging operations, dike construction, pumping stations.
  • Health alerts, pandemic zone demarcation, etc.

In addition to alerts and points of interest, MASAS-X supports the
distribution of documents, pictures, audio, video files and other
geospatially-referenced information products (e.g., situation reports pertaining
to an incident or alert message).

MASAS-X does not specify the maps to be used, only the formats for the
individual content files so that they may be presented on any one of a number of
standard and custom base maps.

Anticipated Outcomes

MASAS-X now serves a very diverse community of public and private
stakeholders, with local, regional, provincial/territorial, pan-Canadian and
international scopes of focus. It is anticipated that this project will:

  • Promote the adoption of an improved way of sharing trusted information for
    better and more accurate decision-making.
  • Increase the efficiency of critical event coordination and promote the more
    efficient use of resources.
  • Introduce situational awareness tools to a broader base of practitioners
    and/or easily integrate MASAS capabilities into systems already in function.
  • Reduce duplication of S&T efforts.

Ultimately, the project team aims to transition the MASAS-X capability from a
DRDC CSS-funded pilot project to an ongoing independent self-sustainable

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Sounds like a good idea

New Zed has AVL and MDT although they have very limited functionality compared to the North American systems, ironic considering we spent millions and millions of dollars on them and they took nearly a decade to be rolled out.

Job details, ability to mark responding, at scene, transporting, at hospital, clear and in theory you can tap a button to request notification to hospital (R40) or Intensive Care Paramedic (R50) but I've never seen them used.

No maps, no vehicle to vehicle chat, no grid or system view, no ePCR etc

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