Messaging | 2019-10-21

Development of Supplementary Alert System for EMV Australia Underway

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

The app will supplement the existing Emergency Alerting System (EAS) and will benefit users by improving communications during response, as well as improved functionality.

Emergency Management Victoria annonced that it has been collaborating with Ambulance Victoria, ESTA, CFA and VICSES on the development of the new Supplementary Alerting Service (SAS) app.

The app will supplement the existing Emergency Alerting System (EAS) and will benefit users by improving communications during response, as well as improved functionality.

The SAS tender was awarded to Ernst & Young in late June 2019. Since then, a series of workshops have been held, where agencies, EAS technical specialists and end users of the app have worked together.

The role of sector staff and volunteers has been vital in ensuring the app looks and operates according to the needs of those who will be using it. Multiple prototypes will be tested during production.

There are several streams of work underway for the development of the app, including:

  • Workshops to review and refine requirements of the app specified in the tender and provide additional detail where required.
  • Workshops with agency, ESTA, and EAS technical specialists to develop the technical solutions for the various interfaces the SAS will support. The SAS app will link to the existing EAS network support system and various agency systems.
  • Consultation to develop the wireframes, which simulate the various screens the app will support. These show what information is on each screen and how the navigation works between the screens. Several iterations have been implemented, each incorporating user feedback.
  • Assessment of the two proposed design concepts to ensure the app is as simple and intuitive to use as possible, and the information being displayed is clear, easily read and logical.

The research and design segments of the project were completed at the end of August. Development of responsive and functional prototypes for agency testing and feedback is now underway.

In order to ensure the app meets the needs of end users, a survey is being conducted during October to seek feedback on the development so far. The survey shows users the layout, information and features on some of the proposed SAS screens, and the developers will use the feedback from the survey to further refine the design before its eventual launch.

The app is voluntary and being funded by the state government, and as a result will be provided to staff and volunteers at no cost to them.